Wind gusts Sunday in Kamloops highest in 130 years | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Wind gusts Sunday in Kamloops highest in 130 years

The wind was part of an arctic front that could still break some cold weather records.
Image Credit: INSTAGRAM / TheTravelling Kicis
January 13, 2020 - 5:00 PM

It was a noticeably frigid and snowy day in Kamloops yesterday but the wind speeds were the record-breaking weather to remember.

Kamloops saw the windiest day since records began in 1890.

Environment Canada meteorologist Matt MacDonald says the weather station at the Kamloops Airport had recorded winds of 75 km/h yesterday, Jan. 12. The last time that wind speed came close to hitting a record was on Jan. 3 of 1965, when winds hit 72 km/h.


Winds picked up abruptly at around 10 a.m. yesterday and continued to batter Kamloops until about 10 p.m.

MacDonald says the best way for a person to understand the force of such winds is to travel in a car going 75 km/h and to stick your head out the window.

The high winds and low temperatures came because of an Arctic front blowing into the region. This front was amplified by coastal conditions, which helped to produce intense gusts and added to the snowfall.

“Typically Arctic fronts arrive just like they did yesterday with a sudden blast of wind, approximately an hour or two of flurries and then a rapid drop in temperature. But this time, the Arctic front was colliding with incoming moisture from the coast, and so that resulted in a prolonged wind event with flurries and blowing snow.”

MacDonald says Kamloopsians are likely over the worst of the wind, as the gusts are strongest when the Arctic front comes in.


12/1/20 - wind

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Although the city is over the intense winds, Kamloops may break a cold weather temperature on Wednesday night.

“It looks like Wednesday night is going to be the coldest night of the week, dipping down to about -25 (Celsius) and the current standing record for that night is -24.4 and thats back in 1907, so that could be a pretty impressive record to break,” MacDonald says. “The worst of the conditions were yesterday afternoon and now that the Arctic air is well entrenched, we have a couple of breezy days here, with winds upwards of 20 kilometres an hour out of the west but nothing like we saw yesterday.”

With the cold temperatures and wind gusts expected, MacDonald warns residents to bundle up and cover any exposed skin when heading outside, especially when sending kids outside to go to school or play.

“The main concern with those winds is colder wind chill values. Our day time high over the next few days is about -17 and add 20 kilometres an hour wind to that and it feels closer to -25 or -30. So with those types of windchill, frostbite can occur to exposed skin in about 20 minutes."

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