FLOOD WATCH 2017: Rain in Okanagan while thunderstorms likley - InfoNews

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FLOOD WATCH 2017: Rain in Okanagan while thunderstorms likley

High water levels remain on the Shuswap River in Enderby, May 9, 2017, as the region prepares for another round of showers.
May 11, 2017 - 3:11 PM

KELOWNA - Residents in the Okanagan should prepare for more rain over the coming 24 hours.

A severe thunderstorm watch for the Okanagan has been issued by Environment Canada and the forecast calls for at least 10 mm of rain to fall across the Okanagan before Friday morning.

Environment Canada meteorologist Alyssa Charbonneau says while the sky cleared for a while in the Okanagan this afternoon but that is not necessarily a good thing.

“It allows temperatures to rise which provides fuel of thunderstorms," she says.

Severe thunderstorms can drop up to 20 mm of rain in localized areas in an hour, Charbonneau says, and with the wide system crossing over the southern part of the province it’s uncertain where, when or if a severe thunderstorm will occur. Less severe thunderstroms are likely.

“The chance of seeing thunderstorms is very high,” she says. “Where we’ll see see severe thunderstorms is less precise.”

A system carrying rain over the Thompson region is expected in the Okanagan tonight, bringing 10 to 15 mm while thunderstorms in the U.S. are headed to the South Okanagan.

“I’m looking at the radar right now,” Charbonneau says. “There are thunderstorms south of the border moving to the South Okanagan right now; nothing severe but there’s a possibility."

“The chance is right there right through the whole Okanagan.”

A severe thunderstorm is not expected to be a wide spread issue and may not materialize at all, she says. Environment Canada is keeping a close eye on the weather in the area and will upgrade the severe thunderstorm watch to a warning if things get worse. 

As we move into Friday the risk of a severe thunderstorm returns later in the day, but Charbonneau says conditions should improve. It will be a cool day, with a high of only 11 Celsius. Expect cloudy periods and a low of 3 C overnight.

Saturday and Sunday are currently forecast to continue that way.

"When we look out into this weekend,” Charbonneau says. “The chance of showers drops quite low for the valley bottoms.”

Ridge tops and peaks may still see showers, but Saturday is expected to be 14 C with a mix of sun and cloud for Vernon, Penticton and Kelowna.

Sunday will be cloudy with a high of 18 C. Skies will clear Sunday night and a low of 2 C is expected.

Normal temperatures for this time of year in the Okanagan range between highs of 19 C and lows of 7 C.

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