Highway travel outside the Okanagan this weekend will be challenging - InfoNews

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Highway travel outside the Okanagan this weekend will be challenging

A snow plow is pictured at work on a B.C. highway in this undated photo from Flickr.
Image Credit: FLICKR
December 20, 2019 - 1:00 PM

Travel in and out of the Okanagan is not going to be easy over the next couple of days.

Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist says the valley bottom is generally wet but bare of snow this morning as temperatures rise above freezing and melting continues through the day.

That’s not the situation in higher terrain, however, where Lundquist says driving will be a challenge for the next 36 hours.

The Coquihalla Summit has already received 70 centimetres of snow with an additional 20 to 60 cm expected between today, Dec. 20, and Saturday afternoon.

“There’s a really big band of precipitation along the coast right now that could result in a lot more snow,” he says.

Lundquist advises motorists to check Drive BC and the province’s highway web cams before setting out.

Weather conditions are expected to ease on Sunday, with cooler temperatures and clearing conditions.

Lundquist says chances of a white Christmas in Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton is doubtful, with snow presently on the ground melting fast, and no appreciable precipitation in the forecast between now and Christmas.

In higher terrain, things will definitely be white, however.

Environment Canada continues to issue winter storm and snowfall warnings for the Trans-Canada Highway, the Okanagan Connector, Highway 3 and the Coquihalla Highway from Hope to Merritt, calling for additional snowfall amounts of 20 to 60 cm.

Today in the Okanagan, expect showers or wet flurries with a high to 2 Celsius in Kelowna, 1 C in Vernon and 4 C in Penticton. Tonight should see wet flurries or rain showers with two cm of snow expected in Kelowna and up to four cm in Vernon, along with a low of 2 C.

Penticton should see rain showers with a low of 2 C overnight.

The snow level is expected to drop to 900 metres overnight in the Okanagan.

Wet flurries and showers are expected to continue into Saturday in the Okanagan, with Kelowna getting another two cm of snow. Temperatures in the valley should remain steady at 1 C.

Skies are expected to clear overnight in the Okanagan with a low to -2 C.

Sunday should be mainly sunny with a high of -1 C and an overnight low to -3 C

Sunny skies are expected to continue Monday with a high of -2 C and a low to -6 C.

More sun is forecast for Christmas Eve on Tuesday with a high of -3 C and a low of -4 C.

Christmas Day on Wednesday is expected to be cloudy with a high of -1 C.

Normal temperatures for this time of year in the Okanagan are highs of -2 C and lows of -8 C.


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