Special weather statement

Wayne Moore

UPDATE: noon

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for the Central and North Okanagan.

According to Environment Canada, Tuesday's storm has the potential for strong wind gusts and intense thunderstorms.

"An intense fall storm will continue to impact much of British Columbia this afternoon. The storm's low-pressure centre accompanied with a squall line near Kamloops will move across the Columbias and northern Kootenays this afternoon.

"As the low passes, very strong westerly wind gusts and heavy showers are expected. Strong gusty winds, frequent lightning and heavy showers, possibly mixed with flurries, can all be expected with the passage of the squall line."

ORIGINAL: 9:40 a.m.

Brace yourselves for some heavy winds.

A cold front from the Pacific is bringing with it blustery conditions – and packing some strong winds.

While the strongest winds in the region are expected to hit the Kamloops, South Thompson and Shuswap regions, with gusts to 90 km/h, Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist says the Okanagan will feel the wrath as well.

"Winds are already up in some locations. I've seen gusts as high as 70 in Summerland this morning," said Lundquist.

"When the cold front does come through later this morning, there may be gusts up to 90 or maybe more. More up towards Kamloops, the Shuswap and Revelstoke."

But, he does expect some heavy gusts when the storm passes through.

"We could see gusts touching 80, or perhaps pushing 90 when it does go by later this morning, coming out of the southwest.

"We call it the Trepanier split, where it comes from the southwest and it sometimes wants to go north."

Lundquist says this particular storm is unusual in that it is developing as it crosses the Interior.

Typically, he says storms weaken as they cross the Interior and redevelop when they cross the Prairies.

Along with heavy winds, Lundquist says he expects the freezing level to fall substantially, which could mean a significant amount of snow at higher levels.

"We are looking at 10 or 20 centimetres, particularly around the Coquihalla Summit," he said.

"If I were travelling today, I would try to avoid that period of time between lunch and early evening until I knew what was going to happen."

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