UPDATE: 3:15 p.m.
Approximately 8,000 BC Hydro customers have been affected by the storm.
At approximately 3 p.m. fire crews responded to downed power lines near the intersection of Salmon River Road and the Trans-Canada Highway.
UPDATE: 1:40 p.m.
Environment Canada is forecasting an intense fall storm to also hit the Central and North Okanagan.
Kelowna and Vernon could experience strong winds and the possibility of a thunderstorm later in the day.
The storm continues to wreck havoc on many regions across the province from the Lower Mainland to the Shuswap — where in Salmon Arm more than 7,000 BC Hydro customers are without power.
In Vernon trees have come down across some major arteries.
But crews are quick to clean up the situation, where several branches blocked a couple lanes of traffic along 27th Street near the courthouse.
Get out the rain gear, it’s going to be a stormy day!
An intense fall storm will impact much of British Columbia today.
The storm’s low pressure centre is forecast to move across the Interior this morning.
“Southeasterly winds will increase to 30 to 40 km/h by mid-morning then shift to the southwest with the passage of the front around noon,” says Environment Canada meteorologist Allan Coldwells. “We’re expecting strong winds to be picking up through the morning and early afternoon and could see gusts up to 80 – 90 in the Shuswap, then diminishing in the late afternoon and shifting to the northwest.”
While the storm will affect almost all of the Southern Interior, winds are expected to be lighter in the Okanagan, gusting to 70 km/h at their strongest.
Coldwells said temperatures are expected to bump up a bit with the southerly flow then drop back down at the end of the afternoon when winds are coming from the northwest.
There is also potential for a squall line to develop with intense thunderstorms, frequent lightning and heavy showers, possibly mixed with flurries.
“You’ve go everything in the basket here,” says Coldwells, noting the higher potential for damage as many trees are still in leaf. “It’s probably the worst time of year for wind like this as the leaves act like sails and when the wind comes in gusts it can do more damage.”
Snow levels are expected to drop sharply in later to near 1,000 metres. Over Rogers Pass, there is the possibility for heavy flurries and strong winds to reduce visibility to near zero creating challenging driving conditions.
There remains some uncertainty in the precise track and strength of the low. Environment Canada may issue wind warnings and/or severe thunderstorm as the situation unfolds.
Another storm is due to blow into the Southern Interior tomorrow but is not likely to be packing gusts higher than 3o km/h.