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Okanagan to enjoy warm and white Christmas

Many Santas enjoyed fresh snow at Big White this weekend, but even more snow is expected to greet Santa up at the ski hill for Christmas Day.
Image Credit: Big White via Facebook
December 21, 2015 - 8:30 AM

OKANAGAN - It will be a pretty typical week when it comes to weather in the Okanagan, with temperatures expected to stay near seasonal normals for much of the Christmas week.

Environment Canada is calling for highs ranging from 0 Celsius to -3 Celsius most days this week, though Kelowna is expected to hit a high of 2 C today while Penticton should see 3 C today and 2 C tomorrow. Overnight lows will also be near seasonal normals, ranging from -4 C to -6 C most nights. Kelowna and Penticton should see slightly warmer temperatures tonight though, with temperatures just below 0 C.

The seasonal normal high temperature at this time of year is -1 C while the seasonal normal low is -5 C.

The weather office is also calling for a mainly cloudy skies for most of the week, with a chance of flurries beginning today, Dec. 21, through Wednesday. A chance of rain showers is expected in the Central and South Okanagan today as well.  A mix of sun and cloud is expected Christmas Day.

At the ski hills highs of -6 C to -9 C are expected this week, with overnight lows set to drop as low as -12 C at Silver Star and -14 C at Big White by the end of the week. At least a chance of flurries is expected all week with partly cloudy skies in the forecast for Christmas Day.

If you are hitting the highways today watch for compact snow along with slushy and slippery sections, according to Drive B.C. Black ice is also being reported on Highway 1 and Highway 97B near the Shuswap while blowing snow and fog are offering up limited visibility on Highway 97C. The snowfall warning in place for the Coquihalla Highway has finally been lifted, though a season high of nearly 104 centimetres currently sits on the ground at the Coquihalla Summit. Nearly 112 cm is on the ground at the Pennask Summit while Allison Pass is just shy of 108 cm.

If the backcountry is your goal, watch for moderate to considerable avalanche risk through much of the local ranges today, with Avalanche Canada expecting the risk to lower Tuesday and Wednesday. The North Shore range currently has the highest risk in the province, with a high risk at the treeline. The high risk is expected to extend to the below treeline level Tuesday before letting up on Wednesday.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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