Morning after fires in West Kelowna, Penticton — snow on the Coquihalla connector - InfoNews

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Morning after fires in West Kelowna, Penticton — snow on the Coquihalla connector

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June 19, 2019 - 7:26 AM

The morning after hot, dry conditions helped build four fires in the south and central Okanagan, there's plenty of rain this morning — and snow on the Coquihalla.

Drive B.C. cameras on Highway 97C connecting the Okanagan to the Coquihalla show snow near Elkhart Drive.

Environment Canada did not issue warnings before the snowfall indicating it was unexpected.

The weather office issued a special weather statement at 11 a.m. today, June 19, for both the Coquihalla from Merritt to Hope, and the Okanagan Connecter between Kelowna and Merritt. Forecasters say the unseasonable snowfall on the mountain passes is thanks to a cold, unstable air mass. Drivers can expect a mix of snow and rain until this afternoon when rising freezing levels will eliminate the risk of more snow.

The forecast calls for a cloudy day in the Okanagan and Kamloops today. You can expect a 60 per cent chance of showers today — it's already raining through much of the region this morning — though just a 30 per cent chance of rain in Penticton. 

With the rain and cloud comes a risk of thunderstorms and winds throughout the area ranging from 20 to 30 km/h. 

The weather is likely a welcome sight to many firefighters in the area. West Kelowna fought three bush fires in the area yesterday and a fire on Penticton Indian Band overnight is still being fought.

For the latest on the special weather statement, check out the Environment Canada website here.

For road conditions, go to the Drive B.C. website here.

— This story was updated at 11:22 a.m. Wednesday, June 19, 2019 with more information from Environment Canada.

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