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Warming centres opened in Okanagan amid cold snap

Penticton and Vernon have responded to the extreme cold
A homeless person is covered in blankets to shield him from the cold. (Black Press Media file photo)

With a cold snap dipping to as low as -26 overnight, warming centres have been opened for those living on the streets.

Vernon and Penticton are among a handful of communities that have responded to the extreme cold.

Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued extreme cold and Arctic outflow warnings for multiple areas in B.C.

The forecast is calling for temperatures to drop as low as -26 C in Vernon overnight Tuesday.

Today (Monday) will see a high of -16, with wind chills of -27. The mercury will drop to -19 tonight.

Five to 10 centimetres of snow could fall Tuesday, with a high of -15, wind chills of -28 and a risk of frostbite. Overnight could get as cold as -26 Dec. 20.

The sun is expected to come out Wednesday but there will be a high of -20, dropping to -24 overnight Dec. 21.

Thursday is similar with a high of -19 and periods of snow overnight and a low of -20.

More snow is in the forecast for Friday with temperatures hovering around -13 all day and night.

There is a 60 per cent chance of flurries Christmas Eve with temperatures around -8.

It could also be a white Christmas Sunday, with a high of -4.

In response, warming centres may be opened for the public at the discretion of local governments and First Nations in affected areas.

Temporary winter shelters and extreme weather response shelters are funded by BC Housing and operated by their partners for anyone who experiences homelessness or is at risk of homelessness.

As of Dec. 18, additional warming centres have been opened in Campbell River, Courtenay, Denman Island, Hornby Island, Penticton, Ts’il Kaz Koh First Nation, Vancouver, Vernon and Victoria.

READ MORE: City of Vernon provides cold weather safety tips with temperatures about to drop

READ MORE: Christmas street lunch serves up hot meals at Vernon church


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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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