Chances of a white Christmas slim

The chance of these geese seeing snow on the ground on Christmas Day is very slim.

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - If you live in Penticton, you only have a 36 per cent chance of seeing a white Christmas in town, but in Vernon you have an 88 per cent chance.

The current forecast is offering very little hope for a white Christmas through most of the region, unless you plan on heading up to the ski hills.

With Environment Canada predicting slightly above normal highs forecast any precipitation that falls before the end of the week is expected to be rain, except in Kamloops where there is a chance of flurries Tuesday. In Vernon and Kelowna today and Wednesday could bring rain while in Penticton there is a chance of rain Tuesday and Wednesday.

By Christmas Day the entire region will drop to just above normal and will be covered in cloud. The snow might finally come on Boxing Day as temperatures drop to just below 0 Celsius and there is a 60 per cent chance of flurries.

Jennifer Hay with Environment Canada notes the absence of snow is not abnormal through much of the region.

A look back at the last 59 years in Kamloops shows only 32 years with any measurable snow on the ground on Christmas Day while Kelowna has seen snow on 37 of the last 53 years. That’s a 54 per cent chance of a white Christmas in Kamloops and a 70 per cent chance in Kelowna.

Penticton has the lowest chance of a white Christmas with only 21 years with snow on the ground, or 36 per cent of the time and Vernon is most likely to see snow on the ground, with 30 of 34 years, or 88 per cent of years, showing snow on the ground for Christmas.

The highway passes did have some snow over the weekend, with the Coquihalla Summit, Allison Pass and Pennask Summit weather stations all tallying about 15 centimetres of accumulation over the past 48 hours.

Many of the local ski hills are reporting good ski conditions with between 35 to 67 cm of fresh snow having fallen in the past week.

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

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