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A months worth of snow just fell on Kamloops

A truck plows a parking lot in Sahali as Kamloops residents dig out of a surprise snow storm March 8, 2017.
March 08, 2017 - 11:52 AM

KAMLOOPS - A month's worth of snow fell in about two hours this morning in Kamloops, leading to slow roads and car crashes.

The vast majority of the snow arrived between 4 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. Environment Canada meteorologist Alyssa Charbonneau says while only 3 centimetres were reported at the Kamloops Airport, she’s seen unverified reports of up to 10 cm around the city.

“There was a line of heavy flurries that swept through the Kamloops and South Thompson area,” she says. “It was quite intense and it was actually fairly localized.”

The flurries hit Kamloops hard though, with streets slick with snow before crews could clear them. In the downtown area, Coun. Denis Walsh witnessed a pedestrian nearly crushed by a pickup truck after the driver lost control and slide sideways through the intersection at 3 Avenue and Seymour Street and into the building on the northeast corner of the intersection.

“The man pushed off the building,” Walsh says. “He got his hand stuck by the truck, otherwise he’d be pasted up against the building.”

While the pedestrian, a man in his late 60s, was agile, his wrist was still crushed in the incident. Walsh says he took him to the hospital for treatment.

Walsh says people need to drive for the conditions as they are today, not as they were yesterday. He’s not the only one, as local social media is full of accounts of slow commutes and backed up highways.

“The message really has to be drive for the conditions,” he says. “It really wakes you up when see that happen, even in downtown Kamloops.”

Conditions should improve throughout the day Charbonneau says, with dry weather forecast, but weather like this is difficult to foresee due to unstable air. She says something similar could happen tomorrow or later this week as instabilities remain and a system apporaches the region.

The snow was very localized, as it originated from south of Clearwater, swept down through Kamloops and headed towards Salmon Arm, but dissipated on they way there.

The record snowfall for Kamloops on March 8 is 5.3 cm in 1951, but Charbonneau says it’s difficult to compare as today’s snow seems to have affected neighbourhoods in Kamloops differently, with areas in the south reporting much more than the airport.

However, normal snowfall for March is around 3.5 cm, or about the same as the airport recorded, meaning even at a minimum the city saw essentially a months worth of snow fall in two hours.

A year ago eight weather record highs were broken in B.C.'s interior. While Kamloops wasn't one fo them, many cities in the area were, as temperatures reached 16 Celsius or 17 C in much of the Thompson and Okanagan.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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