Okanagan deep freeze shouldn't last - InfoNews

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Okanagan deep freeze shouldn't last

Not everyone is unhappy with all the snow and the cold temperatures in the Okanagan.
January 13, 2020 - 2:30 PM

This week’s plunging temperatures weren’t unexpected but yesterday’s cold front brought snow and wind along with a sudden and dramatic impact on temperatures in the Okanagan.

But Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist says it seems unlikely this blast of Arctic air will hang around or break records.

He says the cold snap is “just a taste to remind us we’re Canadian.”

“By Wednesday, we should be into more of a Pacific flow, and on Friday and Saturday it could warm fast enough we could get some decent snow. By Sunday or Monday, we could be pushing the 0 Celsius mark,” he says.

Yesterday's cold blast was quick to arrive with strong winds lasting about 12 hours.

“We should have a couple of calm days before things start modifying,” he says.

“We’ve had lots of phone calls about the weather. Yesterday and overnight didn’t bring a lot of new snow, but a lot of it was blowing around,” Lundquist says.

The cold isn't new to the Okanagan with similar winter temperatures as recently in 2017.

“People forget, because we’ve had lots of mild winters. I think winters have gotten easier,” he says.

The snow and cold has affected travel in the Lower Mainland, forcing school closures in West Vancouver and Chilliwack, slowing the B.C. Ferry schedule and causing multiple crashes and closures on area roads.

Temperatures could drop to as low as -45 C in northern B.C.

Environment Canada has issued an extreme cold warning for most of Alberta, where extreme windchill values near -40 C are expected today through Tuesday.

The Okanagan can expect mainly sunny conditions in Vernon today, Jan. 13, flurries in Kelowna and a 30 per cent chance of flurries in Penticton.

North winds in Penticton at 30 km/h gusting to 50 could result in local blowing snow with 20 km/h winds expected in Vernon and Kelowna.

Highs of -14 C in Kelowna, -16 C in Vernon and -12 C in Penticton, along with the winds could see windchills near -25 C.

Mainly cloudy conditions are expected overnight along with a low of -17 C in Kelowna, -18 C in Vernon and -12 C in Penticton.

Wind chills in the  -22 C to -28 C, range could create a frostbite risk in the North Okanagan.

A mix of sun and cloud on Tuesday is expected to be accompanied by north winds at 20 km/h and a high near -13 C  in Vernon and Kelowna, and -11 C in Penticton.

A windchill near -29 C will create a frostbite risk with cloudy periods and a low near -20 C anticipated overnight.

That compares with the Okanagan’s normal high and low for this time of year, which is -2 C and -8 C.

A mix of sun and cloud is forecast for Wednesday with a high of -12 C and an overnight low of -16 C.

Thursday should see a mix of sun and cloud and a 30 per cent chance of flurries, with a high of -11 C. Clouds and a 30 per cent chance of flurries continues overnight with a low -13 C.

There is a 60 per cent chance of flurries on Friday, with a daytime high rising to -8 C.

Clouds and a 60 per cent chance of flurries persist through Friday night with a low of - 9 C.

Temperatures continue to rebound on Saturday to -4 C, along with a 60 per cent chance of flurries.

It should be cloudy overnight along with a 30 per cent chance of flurries and a high of -5 C.

Sunday should see more clouds, along with a 30 per cent chance of flurries and a high of -2 C.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to tips@infonews.ca and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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