The cold, snowy “chaos” are over, but there’s still plenty of winter ahead in the Okanagan, says expert

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Environment Canada says a warmer-than-normal start to January will make December’s “chaos” in the Okanagan seem like a distant memory, but it’s not yet time to throw on heavy coats for the season.

Temperatures in Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton are above season for the first half of the month, with daily highs hitting as low as 2C by the end of this weekend. Although sleet and sub-zero temperatures remain in the forecast for the next 10 days, meteorologists expect “nothing significant”.

“The week before Christmas was pretty active in terms of a lot of storm systems, but right now we’re in a calmer pattern,” said Alyssa Charbonneau, a meteorologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada. . “Certainly things have calmed down…even the anticipation of excitement, things are not looking too difficult for BC’s southern interior.”

ALSO READ: Penticton, Summerland set daily low temperature records

According to Charbonneau, Penticton averaged a daily of -2 °C and a daily low of -7 °C for the first week of January, with similar all-time values ​​in Kelowna and Vernon in the same time of year.

For 2023, however, meteorologists predict daily highs will remain above zero from January 7 through the middle of the month.

“But by the end of January, there’s nothing to say we can’t have very cold temperatures again,” Charbonneau said. “It doesn’t look like we’re going to have that cold, arctic blast for the next 10 days, but there are still many months until spring and it’s still possible that those cold temperatures will return.”

Dozens of extreme cold and snow records were set across BC beginning December 20 and 21, with road delays, ferry terminals and airport tarmacs extending until Christmas and Boxing Day.

“What we’ve seen so far is that the beginning of January is going to be a lot quieter than what happened before this Christmas weekend,” Charbonneau said.

ALSO READ: Penticton breaks record for most daily snowfall since 1907

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