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Severe storm watch round 2

The severe thunderstorm watch on Tuesday proved to be just a watch after all with the Okanagan getting only a little rain, but a new watch is on for today that may provide more of a show.

Environment Canada Meteorologist Andre Besson says that although Tuesday did not show any storm activity we are not out of the woods yet. Environment Canada has issued another Severe Thunderstorm Watch for the Southern Interior for later this afternoon and evening.

“We do expect potential thunderstorms to be severe later this afternoon. At first we thought it would not be as significant as Tuesday but now we are thinking it will be,” says Besson who reminds us that these storms are very short fused and warnings can come and go throughout the day.

He adds that there is a big concern of localized flooding with hail, wind gusts and rain fall amounts of 20 mm an hour possible.

“There is quite a bit of moisture in the area and the land is very dry because of the long warm spell so any strong downpour can cause local flooding so we are issuing the watch,” says Besson.

As for yesterday's big storm, that never happened.

“The bulk of the activity remained south of the border,” says Besson. “It looks like the greatest activity stayed below the border but the threat could have easily reached the Okanagan with just a little bit of stronger flow.”

Besson says the precipitation we did receive overnight should help to improve the air quality and tone down some of the smoke in the air.

Tuesday's storm did hit surrounding areas with a 'smattering' of lightning strikes in Merritt, Kamloops and Clearwater. Fire Information Officer Kelsey Winter says fortunately it was all wet lightning with precipitation and no fires started.

However, she reminds us that often those lightning strikes can smoulder for weeks before actually igniting.

“This week already we have had three lightning fires that started from lightning strikes that happened in July. So they do have the capacity to sit for a long time before we see the fire,” says Winter.

Environment Canada is warning residents with the severe thunderstorm watch in effect to be prepared for the severe weather.

Take cover immediately if threatening weather approaches. Stay indoors when a thunderstorm strikes. There isn't a place outside that is safe during a thunderstorm.

Environment Canada will update the alert as required so check back for updates. 


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