January 23, 2015 - 9:34 AM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - As temperatures rise to near-record highs this weekend avalanche forecasters are warning of an increased avalanche risk.
With a warm storm likely to drop rain on a weakened snowpack, Avalanche Canada is forecasting a high risk at treeline and alpine elevations on Saturday for both the North and South Columbia ranges and at the alpine level in the Kootenay Boundary range. On Sunday it is expected the below treeline elevation will also be a high risk in the Columbias and the treeline level will be a high risk in the Kootenay Boundary.
Crews will be shutting down Highway 1 west of Revelstoke from 3 to 5 p.m. today for avalanche control.
Heading into Glacier National Park as much as 17 centimetres of snow is expected by Saturday morning while mountain passes on the Coquihalla Highway and Okanagan Connector are expecting rain or freezing rain today and overnight. According to Environment Canada the Coquihalla Summit could receive as much as 40 millimetres of rain by Saturday morning.
Over the next two days we can expect at least a chance of rain in town and by Monday we can expect temperatures to reach the double digits, though Kamloops is expected to reach 13 Celsius on Sunday. According to Environment Canada data, the record high temperature in Kamloops for Jan. 25 is 13 C and while temperatures are expected to reach 11 C on both Monday and Tuesday as well. They will likely be shy of the 14.5 C and 15 C records previously set for those days.
In Vernon a high of 9 C is expected Sunday and 10 C on Monday, both on par with the record high temperatures of 10 C for both days and in Kelowna the expected highs are also 9 C on Sunday and 10 C on Monday while the current records are 10 C and 11 C.
Based on current forecasts, Penticton should likely set a new record on Monday, when temperatures are expected to reach 10 C, well above the current record of 8.5 C. Sunday temperatures are expected to reach 9 C, just shy of the 10 C record set in 1913.
This will not be the first time this winter the region comes close to or breaks high temperature records. In December temperatures soared to 14 C in Kamloops, enough for a new record, while other communities came up just shy.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015