Updated: Weather office says more thunder and strong winds possible Friday afternoon, evening

Environment Canada says winds could gust at up to 70 kilometres per hour

Update—4:24 p.m.

Environment Canada’s special weather statement for the Okanagan has been extended to cover Friday evening.

The weather office website says “lingering instability could lead to further thunderstorm development early this evening. These thunderstorms have the potential to produce winds gusting upwards of 70 km/h.”

As a result, it is still warning recreational boaters to be prepared for strong and gusty winds and exercise caution out on the lakes.

The statement covers the north, central and south Okanagan.

Original story:

A special weather statement has been issued by Environment Canada for the Okanagan warning of thunderstorms and strong winds Friday afternoon.

In what could be a repeat of Thursday afternoon’s conditions that sparked lightening and brought heavy rain at times to some areas, the weather office says conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms over both the Shuswap and Okanagan areas today.

“These thunderstorms have the potential to produce winds gusting up to 70 km/h,” says the statement. The area covered by the special weather statement includes the North, Central and South Okanagan.

Recreational boaters are warned to be prepared for strong and gusty winds and exercise caution out on lakes.

When severe weather threatens, Environment Canada issues alerts that notify those in affected areas in B.C. so that they can take steps to protect themselves and their property from harm.

The type of alert issued depends on the severity and timing of the event.

Special statements are issued to highlight significant weather or express uncertainty, watches are issued to alert the public about weather conditions that are favourable for a storm or severe weather, which could cause safety concerns, and warnings are urgent message that severe weather is either occurring or will occur.

Warnings are usually issued six to 24 hours in advance, although some severe weather (such as thunderstorms and tornadoes) can occur rapidly, with less than a half hours’ notice, says Environment Canada.

The public is asked to continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to BCstorm@canada.ca or tweet reports using #BCStorm.

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