Winter’s first cold snap hits the South Okanagan

The cold bite of winter will blow through Penticton with high wind gusts this weekend.

Jan Betts and her dog Amber braved the wind and cold to go for a stroll along Okanagan Lake on Nov. 12.

Jan Betts and her dog Amber braved the wind and cold to go for a stroll along Okanagan Lake on Nov. 12.

The cold bite of winter will blow through Penticton with high wind gusts this weekend, but the weather is going to be up-and-down going forward.

A winter storm arrived in the B.C. Interior Thursday and strong wind gusts over 70 km/h are expected to die down by Friday bringing wet precipitation and a brief warming before a cold snap is expected Sunday.

“We could easily see winds gusting from 70 km/h to 80 km/h (Thursday), decreasing somewhat (Friday), but the temperature is going to go up,” said Doug Lundquist, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

There is expected to be a dump of snow in the mountains, but that precipitation will turn into wet flurries Friday in Penticton.

Warm weather is in the forecast, warming up to 11 degrees Celsius Saturday, seven degrees above average, and cooling down Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Mountain roads will be hit hardest by the storm with a predicted 10-15 centimetres of snow, and the warm weather later in the weekend might make for the right conditions for a dump of snow on the Coquihalla Highway.

A cold front will drop the temperature Sunday with a high of six degrees.

“Sunday into Monday morning as it calms down we might see minus six degrees, which would be pretty cool because we’ve barely had frost recently,” Lundquist said.

The up-and-down weather is expected to continue into next week.

“There’s another storm for next week that will really whip the wind up again and warm us up again, it’s just kind of an up-and-down for the next little while,” Lundquist said.

Highways around Penticton should be in the clear as far as driving conditions go, however those travelling to the Central Interior can keep track of highway conditions by visiting www.drivebc.ca.