THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - If you were hoping for a warm, sunny weekend so you could fish or golf with dad, you may be a bit disappointed about the wet weather forecast in store for the next few days — though there should be a reprieve from those wet skies on Father’s Day.
To get the forecast and the skies rolling, Mother Nature is offering up possible severe thunderstorms. A watch has been issued for the Okanagan, including Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton, today. Environment Canada warns conditions are favourable for severe storms to develop this afternoon and evening. The system could bring heavy rains reaching 15 mm per hour as well as strong winds, hail and intense lightning.
Temperatures today will be around the seasonal normals of 23 to 25 C but tomorrow much of the Okanagan will see temperatures begin to dip below those normals. Today will also bring a 40 per cent chance of showers throughout the region while tomorrow most of the region can expect showers for much the day.
In Kamloops Friday and Saturday will bring a 60 per cent of showers and by Sunday temperatures will drop to 19 C. In Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton temperatures will drop several degrees below normal on Friday to18 C but will rebound to almost normal on Saturday before once again dropping on Sunday. The Okanagan can also expect a 40 per cent chance of showers on Saturday though the entire region can expect a simple cloud cover for Father’s Day.
Today and tomorrow also brings a risk of thunderstorms throughout the entire Thompson-Okanagan region. These potential storms come on the tail end of Lightning Safety Week. Environment Canada says about 10 Canadians are killed and another 100 to 150 are injured by lightning every year.
The weather service provides this guide of precautions to take if you find yourself in the middle of a storm:
If caught outdoors:
- Avoid putting yourself above the surrounding landscape. Seek shelter in low-lying areas such as valleys, ditches and depressions but be aware of flooding.
- Stay away from water. Don't go boating or swimming if a storm threatens, and get to land as quickly as possible if you are already on the water. Lightning can strike the water and travel a substantial distance from its point of contact.
- Stay away from objects that conduct electricity, such as tractors, golf carts, golf clubs, metal fences, motorcycles, lawnmowers and bicycles.
- Avoid being the highest point in an open area. Swinging a golf club, or holding an umbrella or fishing rod can make you the tallest object and a target for lightning.
- You are safe inside a car during lightning, but be aware of downed power lines which may be touching your car. You are safe inside the car, but you may receive a shock if you step outside.
- In a forest, seek shelter in a low-lying area under a thick growth of small trees or bushes.
- Keep alert for flash floods, sometimes caused by heavy rainfall, if seeking shelter in a ditch or low-lying area.
- Before the storm hits, disconnect electrical appliances including radios and television sets. Do not touch them during the storm.
- Don't go outside unless absolutely necessary.
- Keep as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
- Don't handle electrical equipment or telephones. The electrical current from the lightning strike will travel through wires and cords and if you are directly connected with them, you could be struck. Use battery operated appliances only. Cordless telephones are safe however you could receive a very loud noise on the phone which may seem like a shock. This would be consistent with the house or somewhere nearby being struck by lightning.
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-This story was updated at 11:08 a.m., June 12 with information on the thunderstorm watch.