November 26, 2014 - 12:09 PM
SNOWFALL WARNING ISSUED FOR NORTH THOMPSON
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Heavy snow has fallen throughout the region and another 25 centimetres is expected in the North Thompson and Columbia regions by Thursday morning, though the snow will change to rain late tonight or Thursday morning in the more southern regions.
While parts of the region struggle with heavy snowfall others are without power. Nearly 4,000 customers are without power in the Peachland and Summerland regions and early reports are that power lines are down in the Westbank area, affecting another 250 customers. More than a dozen other isolated outages have also been reported throughout the region. B.C. Hydro has placed blame for the outages on the snow storm and estimates power will be restored by 4 p.m.
The same Pacific frontal system is bringing more heavy snow to mountain passes throughout the Southern Interior. Snow on the ground at the Coquihalla Summit now totals 75.9 cm and another 5 cm is expected on the highway today, along with up to 50 millimetres of rain by tomorrow morning.
In total 45 cm of snow has fallen on the Coquihalla Summit since Monday evening while Allison Pass has had 50 cm of snow fall in the same time period. Another 5 cm is expected this morning before it shifts to rain.
Environment Canada was warning of heavy snow on most mountain passes this morning but now says only Rogers Pass on Highway 1 and Kootenay Pass on Highway 3 will see the heavy snowfalls, with up to 30 cm expected at Rogers Pass by Thursday afternoon.
As of 6 a.m. snow on the ground at Allison Pass on Highway 3 totals 70.2 cm, 57.5 cm at Pennask Summit on Highway 97C, 44.7 cm at Albert Canyon on Highway 1 and 27 cm at Helmer Lake between Kamloops and Merritt on the Coquihalla Highway. These numbers are all up significantly from the 0-5 cm sitting on the ground as of 6 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 21.
The heavy snowfall has closed Highway 5A from Princeton to Aspen Grove because of a high avalanche hazard. Drivers are being warned other area highways are snow covered with slushy sections. A crash on Highway 5 has also closed northbound lanes just south of the Highway 97D junction.
Throughout the Thompson-Okanagan region we can expect to see highs of 3-7 Celsius today with a mix of snow and rain. Tomorrow temperatures will hit up to 10 C, with a 40 per cent chance of showers, before dropping off again Friday. Saturday highs of only -5 to -7 are expected.
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— This story was updated at 11:47 a.m. with changes to the highway forecasts and hydro outages.
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