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First Arctic air this winter has arrived in Kamloops, Okanagan

Kamloops and Okanagan residents are going to get a taste of winter this week as temperatures plummet across the region.
February 08, 2021 - 10:51 AM

Kamloops and Okanagan residents will want to bundle up when venturing outdoors this week as the region becomes immersed in the coldest weather so far this winter.

The first Arctic outbreak is expected to bring overnight lows of around -20 Celsius in Vernon and Kamloops, while Kelowna and Penticton could see temperatures dip to the minus teens.

Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist says the cold snap should last until the weekend, with temperatures moderating to around the freezing mark by Saturday.

The cold should be welcome news to growers waiting to harvest the remaining icewine crops.

There’s a chance of flurries around mid-week, but otherwise Kamloops and the Okanagan can expect mostly clear and very cold conditions between today and the weekend.

A special weather statement has been issued by Environment Canada for Kamloops and the Okanagan, warning of temperatures 10 to 20 degrees colder than normal this week. Large areas of northern B.C. are under an extreme cold warning.

The average high and low temperatures for Kamloops for this time of year is 3 C and -5 C Vernon. Kelowna and Penticton normally see highs of 1 C and lows of -6 C.

“The temperatures we are forecasting for mid-week, Wednesday night, are more for Kelowna airport. I wouldn’t expect it to be that cold near the lake, which continues to be warm this year at 5 Celsius. But there is a lot of cold air on its way,” Lundquist says.

He says Kelowna could see the warmest temperatures due to lake effect, while Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton might see overnight lows dipping to the -20 C mark.

Tonight’s low could dip to -20 C in Kamloops, -17 C in Vernon and Kelowna and -14 C in Penticton.

Wednesday night is expected to be the coldest, at -21 C in Kamloops and -20 C in Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton.

For the first polar vortex of the winter, this system has already been a chilly one across northern Canada and the prairies.

Alberta has already experienced the coldest air of this outbreak, but overnight lows are still expected in the -30s  with daytime highs in the mid -20s, according to The Weather Network.

The coldest temperature in Canada since March, 2017 was recorded in Wekweeti, NWT, yesterday, Feb. 7, at -51.9 C.

Edmonton recorded its second coldest February temperature of -43.8 C yesterday, while Uranium City in Saskatchewan tied its all-time coldest record at -48.9 C.

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