Gas prices bigger challenge than weather for Easter weekend travellers in southern Interior | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Gas prices bigger challenge than weather for Easter weekend travellers in southern Interior

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While spring snowstorms have hit parts of Western Canada this week, Kamloops and the Okanagan have got by with nothing worse than cooler than normal weather.

That will continue through the Easter long weekend so holiday travelling, even though the mountains, should not have any significant weather problems to cope with.

But drivers may want to keep an eye on their gas gauges as gas prices can vary dramatically between towns.

Even in the Okanagan, prices at the pumps, according to, range from $1.63.9 in Vernon to $1.86.9 in Penticton with Kelowna in the middle at $1.75.9.

Kamloops prices range from $1.84.9 to $1.89.9. Costco in Kamloops and Kelowna do charge less to their members.

For those heading to the Lower Mainland, Hope shows $1.87.9 on while Vancouver, despite its transit tax, is only a couple of cents more.

But Abbotsford and Chilliwack, which are popular refuelling cities, have prices ranging all the way up to $2.39.9 per litre.

While that shows on for only a couple of stations – which may not be accurate – there are a number of others listed at $2.29.9 and $2.19.9 but others are as low as $1.79.9.

Heading east, Revelstoke shows $1.99.9 so, being able to make it as far as Golden should save money since those stations are showing at $1.79.9.

Travelling further south through the Kootenays, Castlegar shows at $1.79.9, Creston at 1.89.9 and Cranbrook at $1.82.9.

The better deal is to make it all the way to Alberta where Calgary shows $1.54.9.

Of course, gas prices can change at any time.

When it comes to local weather, things should improve slowly from the unseasonably low temperatures of the last couple of weeks.

“You will be under this cool and unsettled air mass for the beginning of the weekend,” Environment Canada meteorologist Alyssa Charbonneau told today, April 14.

There should be a mix of sun and cloud tomorrow with some isolated showers possible in the afternoon.

“We do start to see things stabilize a bit going into Saturday and Sunday,” Charbonneau said. “We’re looking at a few degrees warmer and mainly sunny but, overall, the air mass is still quite cool for this time of year.”

That cool weather has been sitting over much of southern B.C. this week, bringing snow to areas of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island all the way down to sea level.

“To end the weekend, we do see a proper storm system approaching the B.C. coast, which will start to bring some cloud into the Kamloops, Kelowna areas,” Charbonneau said. “It will also bring a little bit of warmer air and some showers, probably later in the day.”

Travel though the mountain passes should be fairly good for most of the weekend.

“Over the highway passes, always be careful,” Charbonneau said. “Certainly we’re not out of winter conditions yet. Even though I don’t see any kind of major impact forecast, it’s always wise to be prepared if you’re heading out over the mountain passes. The way the weather pattern is right now, we don’t have any major storms moving into the beginning part of the weekend but, it’s unsettled and you can get these more convective flurries that can hit pretty suddenly and reduce visibility quickly so there’s always something to be aware of.”

For travellers heading home late, there’s a chance of snowfall on the Coquihalla Highway later Monday evening, she said.

For anyone heading east, the weather pattern is expected to be much the same as in the southern Interior, even into Alberta. The snowstorms hitting Saskatchewan and Manitoba are coming up from Colorado and not expected to travel west into Alberta.

Highs are expected to only reach 8 Celsius in the Okanagan today and 10 C in Kamloops. Those should gradually climb to 17 C in Kamloops early next week but only 12 C to 13 C in the Okanagan.

Overnight lows will be -3 C in Kamloops and -4 C in the Okanagan overnight tonight. The online Environment Canada forecast shows a low 0 C for Kamloops Saturday morning but still -4 C in the Okanagan.

Normal temperatures for this time of year are highs of 15 C to 17 C with lows of 2 C to 3 C.

“Looking at the long-term trend – and this always comes with a bit of a grain of salt when we look beyond a week – what we see is a gradual warming,” Charbonneau said.

That should get the region back to more seasonal temperatures. She doesn’t see any sharp rise in temperatures for the next while.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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