White Christmas may be a reality for the Okanagan this year

FILE PHOTO - It was a White Christmas in Penticton in 2015, and odds are it will be a White Christmas in the Okanagan this year.

OKANAGAN - Is it too early to dream of it? Perhaps not, according to Environment Canada.

The Okanagan Valley is looking at a 63 per cent chance of a White Christmas for 2016.

The forecast calls for snow beginning tomorrow night, Dec. 8, and continuing Friday, with 2 to 4 centimetres expected before turning to flurries through the weekend and into next week. Coupled with a second system of cold arctic air, it means the snow will not have a chance to melt away.

“This arctic outbreak is expected to remain for seven to 10 days, so it looks like there’s no respite from this cold weather," meteorologist Ross MacDonald says. This contributes to the significant chance that the snow will still be here by the time Christmas rolls around, though it might not be particularly picturesque by then.

Still, Christmas carolers will want to wear plenty of layers and big warm scarves as they make their rounds this holiday season.

The snow doesn’t have to be soft and fluffy to qualify as a White Christmas. Environment Canada does differentiate between a White Christmas and a Perfect Christmas. MacDonald explains that a Perfect Christmas is one in which snow is actually falling on Christmas Day.

Currently, according to Environment Canada’s forecast, the Okanagan Valley has only a 26 per cent chance of falling snow on Christmas day.

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