An intense fall storm hit the Okanagan today, knocking down trees and power across the valley.
Westside Road is currently closed in both directions due to downed lines. The closure is 23.5 kilometres north of the junction with Highway 97 south. No detour is available.
Power lines are also down on Highway 6 east of Cherryville, causing some delays for motorists.
Meanwhile trees have come down across some major arteries — including 27th Street and 30th Avenue in Vernon, across from the courthouse. Crews were quick to clean up the situation, where several branches blocked a couple lanes of traffic along 27th Street around 2 p.m.
A nearly 40-foot tall tree was uprooted in in the Bella Vista area, falling across a chain-link fence and into the back yard of a home, narrowly missing the home.
But while the storm affected almost all of the Southern Interior, winds were reportedly lighter in the Okanagan, gusting to 70 km/h at their strongest.
Temperatures are expected to bump up a bit with the southerly flow then drop back down by 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.
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.