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North Okanagan, Shuswap urged to prepare for cold snap

Temperatures forecast to dip to -25
Snow and cold temperatures are hitting the North Okanagan this week. (Sylvia Voets photo)

The days (and nights) are getting colder this week.

Winter has made its return to the North Okanagan, with Environment Canada forecasting a significant ‘arctic blast’ passing through the Okanagan and Shuswap regions starting as early as Wednesday night (tonight).

Periods of snow are forecast in Vernon tonight witha low of -7 and continuing Thursday, where an overnight low of -21 is expected. Two to four centimetres could accumulate tonight, with another two cms Thursday. Northwest winds of 30 kilometres and hour gusting to 50 are expected Thursday.

The mercury continues to drop Friday with a high of -18 and overnight low of -25. The lowest temperature recorded for Jan. 12 was set in 1998 at -22.9.

Saturday’s forecast is -19 during the day and -20 at night.

Sunday will also be -20 overnight, but -16 during the day.

Monday wams slightly to a high of -13 and an overnight low of -19.

As we head into this period of colder weather, residents are reminded to be aware of the forecast and potential winter storms:

• Check the weather forecast before going outside; pay attention to both the temperature and the wind chill factor

• Plan ahead and limit your time outside

• Dress in layers, with a wind resistant outer layer; wear a toque or hat, mittens and a scarf to cover exposed skin; wear warm and waterproof footwear

• Seek shelter from the wind

• Stay dry; if you are wearing too many layers and begin to sweat, unzip or remove a layer

• Stay active while outside to generate body heat

• Be aware of the signs of frostbite and hypothermia and seek medical attention immediately, if required

• Have an emergency plan in place, including a 72-hour kit of candles, food and water in case of a power outage or poor travel conditions

• Check DriveBC before traveling, and if road conditions are poor, avoid unnecessary travel until conditions improve. If you must travel, motorists are reminded to slow down, drive to potentially changing road conditions, give yourself additional time to reach your destination, and look carefully for pedestrians and other travellers.

If you are clearing snow from sidewalks or your driveway, keep these tips in mind to increase safety in your neighbourhood:

• Remove snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to your property within 24 hours of the end of the snowfall (Vernon Traffic Bylaw #5600);

• Pile snow on grass areas where possible and never around fire hydrants, on bus stops, or over storm drains;

• When shoveling snow off your driveway, store the snow on the left side of the driveway (when facing the property) and do not push it into the street. This will increase visibility when leaving your driveway, and will make the road safer for other motorists;

• Park vehicles off-street wherever possible to allow snowplows to clear a larger portion of the road; and

• Keep children, pets and yourself a safe distance away from heavy snow clearing equipment.

“The city would like to thank residents for their hard work in clearing sidewalks and for having patience as crews tackle the impacts of winter storms when they happen,” the City of Vernon said.

For more information about cold weather safety, visit or PreparedBC.

READ MORE: Frigid forecast prompts Vernon’s cold weather response

READ MORE: Arctic blast to sweep Okanagan Shuswap with -20 temperatures

Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

20-year-Morning Star veteran
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