Mother-Nature-made ice sculpture on Okanagan Lake in Penticton.

UPDATE: Snow warning in effect, not a good day to travel

Large snowfall will hit the Okanagan today which could cause problems on the highways.



UPDATE: 11 A.M.

If you need to travel this weekend, today is not the day.

Environment Canada is warning motorists that this is the worst day to travel for the holiday season

“Today is a challenging day for travel,” says meteorologist Ross MacDonald. “Let things sort themselves out and look at traveling tomorrow.”

DriveBC has compact snow, slippery conditions and severe winter driving warnings for all major highways in and out of the Southern Interior today. This includes Highway 1, Highway 3, Highway 5, Highway 97C, Highway 33 and sections of Highway 97.

“Anyone doing any holiday travel today can expect winter driving conditions throughout the Southern Interior,” says MacDonald.

“In terms of travel, it improves after today. By tomorrow morning it looks good and right through Christmas.”

MacDonald says a frontal system pushing through Southern B.C. today is bringing snow to the Okanagan and South Thompson regions.

“Penticton and Kelowna is looking to get five to 10 centimetres of snow today, so it is definitely a good snow day with temperatures getting up to the freezing mark,” says MacDonald.

“We are going to see a little more towards the Vernon, Shuswap and Kamloops region, looking at 10-15 centimetres there. In fact, those areas are under a snowfall warning.”

The Environment Canada snowfall warning issued Friday morning indicates that today’s heavy snow should taper off this evening.

‘Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow. Public Safety Canada encourages everyone to make an emergency plan and get an emergency kit with drinking water, food, medicine, a first-aid kit and a flashlight,” writes Environment Canada.

“Tomorrow the system will clear and the snow will come to an end overnight tonight, with two to five centimetres overnight. Tomorrow we may even see the odd sunny break in the afternoon,” adds MacDonald.

“Going into Christmas Day it is looking mainly cloudy, but dry.”

For more information on driving in winter conditions, click here.

For up to date details on highway conditions and road closures check DriveBC.

You can also monitor Environment Canada for alerts, warnings and updated forecasts.

Have a great weather photo or video to share? Head to our Facebook page and share it with us!


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ORIGINAL: 7 A.M.

Drivers should take extra precaution today as most of the Okanagan is expected to receive a large amount of snowfall today according to Environment Canada.

North Okanagan

Drivers are being cautioned about slippery sections and compact snow along Highway 97 around Vernon and between Enderby and Sicamous.

Environment Canada is calling for up to 10 centimetres in Vernon today and up to another four cm tonight.

Central Okanagan

A similar dump of snow is expected in Kelowna today. Slippery sections and compacted snow are already being reported by DriveBC between Kelowna and Peachland.

If you are planning on taking the Coquihalla, expect slushy, slippery sections with compact snow.

South Okanagan

DriveBC isn’t reporting any incidents on Highway 97 in the South Okanagan this morning, but if you are planning to drive anywhere snow will become a factor.

From Penticton, and south to Osoyoos, Environment Canada is calling for five to 10 centimetres of snow today. There will be periods of snow tonight as well, between two to four cm. Full seven-day forecast here.

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