Thunderstorm watch moves

Alanna Kelly

UPDATE: 4:45 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm watch has moved out of the Okanagan Valley and is headed for the Fraser Valley.

Environment Canada said the watch for Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon has moved to the Fraser Valley East and Central, which included Hope and Chilliwack.

The watch ended for the Okanagan Valley at 3:55 p.m.

UPDATE: 11:15 a.m.

A storm is moving into the Okanagan Valley right now.

Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist says there is potential of severe thunderstorms today, but where and what time they could happen is still unknown.

“We are looking at these storms developing sometime this afternoon, some of them could be severe,” he said. “Usually, they try to hang out over the high terrain here in the Okanagan, so it is likely if it is severe you’ll see it over the higher terrain and less likely in the valley.”

Thunderstorms are expected to start this afternoon and last into the evening.

“Again tomorrow we may have more thunderstorms as well,” said Lundquist.

Rainfall is also expected with the thunderstorms, which he notes will be a good thing for the wildfire season.

“I think with this one there is going to be quite a bit of rain, I am hoping that is what happens here,” he said. “Even if we do get rain and lightning, sometimes it can persist in the ground so there is always that risk.”

Amounts of rainfall expected today will amount to 10 to 15 mm, locally and another five to 10 for Thursday.

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ORIGINAL: 9:40 a.m.

Thunderstorms are expected to rumble over the Okanagan Valley today. 

Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm watch at 9:30 a.m. for Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton. The Okanagan Connector, between Merritt and Kelowna, is also under a severe thunderstorm watch.

“Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts, large hail, and heavy rain,” said the alert.

Thunderstorms are expected to develop later this morning and intensify early this afternoon.

“Severe thunderstorm watches are issued when atmospheric conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms that could produce one or more of the following: large hail, damaging winds, torrential rainfall,” said the alert. 

Lightning kills and injures Canadians every year. Environment Canada meteorologists saying when thunder roars, go indoors!

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