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Cold snap means busy time for emergency shelters, icewine harvesters

A cold snap expected in Kamloops and the Okanagan over the next few days is expected to keep local cold shelters and grape harvesters busy.
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November 27, 2019 - 12:30 PM

Residents of Kamloops and the Okanagan, brace yourselves for a blast of arctic air.

Environment Canada issued weather alerts for the Okanagan and South Thompson valleys this morning, Nov.27, warning of strong, gusty arctic winds for both regions.

Weather alerts for strong winds have also been issued for the Coquihalla Highway, the Coquihalla Connector and the Hope-Princeton Highway.

The cold spell is not expected to result in any low temperature records but will likely result in the need for emergency winter shelter operations in Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton for those without a roof over their heads.

Wineries holding back some of this year’s crop in anticipation of an icewine harvest will also be busy, likely starting Thursday night when temperatures are expected to dip to -13 C.

A strong low that has developed very quickly south of the U.S. border is responsible for strong winds today,  Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist says.

Those winds could result in wind chills of up to -16 in the Okanagan tonight, and up to -20 C in Kamloops by Thursday morning.

“It will continue to cool off. By the weekend we’re going to have highs only in the -5 to -8 Celsius range, and overnight lows could dip to the double digits, probably not tonight but over the next few nights before a gradual warm up next week as we get a bit of a different flow,” he says.

Highs today are only expected to reach 1 C in Penticton and - 1C in Kamloops, Vernon and Kelowna. By Saturday highs are only expected to reach -8 C with overnight lows dipping to -13 C.

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