January 02, 2015 - 11:11 AM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - A winter storm set to hit the Southern Interior by Sunday could bring snowfall in excess of 25 centimetres at highway passes and could see snow turn to freezing rain in town.
Friday morning Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for much of the Central and Southern Interior, including the Coquihalla Highway, the Okanagan Connector, Highway 3 and Highway 1 as well as Kamloops, Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton.
A moisture-rich storm is currently approaching the coast and is expected to bring significant snow to the coastal passes early Sunday morning and the Interior passes later in the day. The snow is expected to end by Tuesday morning but could exceed 25 cm before all is said and done.
The warm, wet system will mix with the Arctic air and will lead to snowfall throughout the region. As the system moves on, leaving behind warmer temperatures, the snow may turn to freezing rain in the Southern Interior.
Temperatures will reach highs of about -4 C throughout the region over the next three days and will only vary by a few degrees overnight. Temperatures are expected to reach 4 C through the Okanagan by Monday and Kamloops by Tuesday.
Avalanche Canada has also issued a special public avalanche warning for all backcountry users throughout the region.
Drive B.C. is currently reporting compact snow with slippery sections on Interior highways. Currently there is about 68 cm of snow on the ground at the Coquihalla Summit and 78 cm at the Pennask Summit. Allison Pass on Highway 3 has nearly 83 cm of snow on the ground as of Friday morning.
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