No relief in sight from frigid B.C. Interior temperatures

Environment Canada says there is no relief in sight from below normal temperatures in January as a weak La Nina influences winter weather in the Southern Interior this year.
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Don’t expect this week’s winter temperatures to let up any time soon in the Southern Interior — it may be here for weeks.

Environment Canada meteorologist Allan Coldwells says this year’s predicted weak La Nina — a cooler weather pattern brought on by changes in temperatures of the Pacific Ocean — is bringing with it associated cooler temperatures, averaging four to five degrees below normal.

The cold weather is predicted to last through January and into the beginning of February.

Coldwells says precipitation is more unpredictable and difficult to accurately predict, so Environment Canada doesn’t offer forecasts for rain or snow beyond a 10-day period.

Moist Pacific air spreading over the dome of cold arctic air in the Interior is creating snow, at times heavy, today, Dec. 28, with some areas expecting up to ten centimetres worth. At one point this morning, a heavy snowfall warning was in place for the Shuswap, North and Central Okanagan regions. It was lifted by midday, but not before the area received a significant snowfall.

Kelowna is expected to break a snowfall record today.

"Things will be picking up tomorrow as another Pacific system is on its way,” Coldwells says, with five to 10 more centimetres of snow expected in the Interior tomorrow afternoon, Dec. 29.

Drier conditions are anticipated starting on the weekend, but with clearing skies, temperatures are expected to drop by four or five degrees below normal, he says.

This year’s weather for New Year’s day may result in some exceptionally short swims for the region’s polar bear swim enthusiasts, with the Environment Canada predicting a mix of sun and cloud and a high of -8 C in Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon and Kamloops.


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