Today's snow is no guarantee it will be a white Christmas in Kamloops, Okanagan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Today's snow is no guarantee it will be a white Christmas in Kamloops, Okanagan

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We got varying amounts of snow in Thompson-Okanagan today, Dec. 1 but that doesn’t mean Christmas in the region will be white.

Weather experts don’t like forecasting that far ahead but the numbers aren't indicative.

“I can give you statistics,” Environment Canada meteorologist Johnathan Bau told “For Kamloops, it’s a 52% chance that it will be a white Christmas. For Kelowna, if you look at the recent trends from 1997 to 2021, it’s a 56% chance.”

That has to be tempered by the fact that this is an El Nino winter, which tends to be dryer and warmer than normal.

The three-month forecast for the region is for a 60-70% chance of above normal temperatures. The precipitation forecast for that period is unclear but December is expected to be wetter than normal.

But, given the likelihood of higher than normal temperatures, that could easily mean rain rather than snow later in the month.

Up to 4 cm of snow is expected to accumulate by Saturday afternoon in the valley bottoms but it could reach 11 Celsius in Kamloops on Tuesday and 7 C in the Okanagan so any precipitation next week is more likely to be rain.

Increased precipitation will be good news for those concerned about drought conditions throughout the region after an extremely dry year and massive wildfires during the summer.

For the three meteorological months of fall, from September through November, precipitation in Kelowna was 48.6% of normal, Bau said.

That’s up from 45% of normal from the three summer months of June through August.

READ MORE: Hot summer likely to turn into warm fall, winter in Kamloops and Okanagan

For the past three months, precipitation in Kamloops was 40.9% of normal, down from 64% in the summer.

Penticton came in at 41.9% of normal for the fall and 61% during the summer.

Data was not available for Vernon for the fall months. It had 53% of its normal precipitation in the summer.

Fall temperatures in the region were near normal.

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