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UPDATE: Winter storm slamming Southern Interior

A winter storm warning has been issued by Environment Canada for the Southern Interior. Heavy snow is expected to start falling in the afternoon, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015. The snow will change to freezing rain in the evening, Monday, Jan. 4, 2015.
January 04, 2015 - 10:30 AM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – A warning from Environment Canada about a strong winter storm advancing from the B.C. coast and arriving in the Southern Interior Sunday morning has been updated and confirms more snow will fall than originally expected.

A clash of warm, moist Pacific air with the already entrenched arctic air will lead to significant snowfall throughout the Thompson-Okanagan, according to forecasters.

Meteorologists are predicting hazardous winter conditions thanks to the heavy snow — up to 35 centimetres is forecast to fall during the day and overnight before it eases by Monday morning.

“A second impulse will bring more snow for later Monday,” according to Environment Canada’s warning updated Sunday morning. “Some patchy freezing rain can be expected with this second impulse, especially over the southwest Interior regions.”

“Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve.”

If you’re driving on the roads and highways in the regions, be prepared for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions.

“A good day to play Monopoly, if possible,” VSA Highway Maintenance says in a tweet Sunday morning. The company handles snow plowing and sanding on the Coquihalla Highway.

The Coquihalla Highway from Merritt to Hope and the Okanagan Connector from Kelowna to Merritt are expected to get the most snow, close to 40 cm. The rest of the mountain passes in the Southern Interior will get over 20 cm.

The winter storm warning covers the Okanagan, Shuswap, South Thompson and Nicola regions.

Officials with Public Safety Canada are asking drivers to make an emergency plan and put together an emergency kit with water, food, medicine, a first aid kit and a flashlight. You can get more information on emergency plans and kits at the agency’s website.

For the latest forecasts and warning go to Environment Canada's website.

Drive B.C. has the latest highway conditions.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Howard Alexander at halexander@infonews.ca or call 250-491-0331. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

— This story was updated at 10:10 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 4, 2014 to update winter story warning information.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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