A white Okanagan Christmas to be followed by a fairly dry winter

"Take part in snowy activities now, because after Christmas can't guarantee how much you're going to get..."

The fluffy blanket of snow that fell across the Okanagan Thursday has started to turn crusty and brown, but it should be freshened up by Christmas, says an Environment  Canada meteorologist.

Lisa Coldwells, from the national weather service, says the five to 10 centimetres of snow that fell Thursday should be followed in the week to come by a couple more dustings.

“What  is happening over the next week is it will stay cloudy and cool and the snow will compact a little,” she said, adding there will be a bit of melt during peak temperatures, which are expected to only reach 1 C.

“Then there is a chance for more snow in the week…with light flurries happening through the valley.”

It will be just a enough to weigh down the tree branches and brighten the ground beneath the valley’s seasonally grey skies.

All in all, she said, the amount of snow and the temperatures recorded this year are “bang on normal” when compared to Okanagan averages.

Deeper into winter, however, the El Nino that has been reported will likely show itself.

“It’s a strong El Nino year. In January and February the effects will be felt,” she said. “Overall temperatures will warm up one to two degree above what normal is.”

Precipitation, she said, shouldn’t be affected too much, as the Okanagan doesn’t get much during the winter, anyway.

“The lower slopes of the mountain where you normally get snow, you’ll get rain, but the tops of the mountains will still get snow,” she said.

“So valley bottoms won’t see as much snow. Take part in snowy activities now, because after Christmas can’t guarantee how much you’re going to get.”

Kelowna Capital News