Storm comes on strong

UPDATE: 4:30 p.m.

Despite Environment Canada lifting the severe thunderstorm warning for the Okanagan earlier this afternoon, the storm had other plans.  

A resident of Shannon Lake said a storm of "biblical proportions" dumped rain and lightning from above for about 20 minutes just after 4 p.m. Thursday. 

"There's been so many lightning strikes I can't even count them," the resident said.

The storm then moved across the lake to Kelowna, dumping rain over downtown. 

UPDATE: 3:30 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm warning has been lifted for the Central Okanagan.

Environment Canada ended the alert at 3:09 p.m.

ORIGINAL: 7 a.m.

Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the entire Okanagan Valley, including Vernon, Kelowna, and Penticton.

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms that may produce heavy rain.

The strong upper ridge of high pressure has moved into Alberta which has caused the airmass to become moist and unstable over the BC Interior. The main thunderstorm threat will be rainfall rates of up to 25 mm in one hour due to the slow progress of the storms. In northeast BC the threat of severe thunderstorms should be confined near the Rockies where there is also the risk of wind gusts up to 90 km/h.

Strong wind gusts are also possible. Intense lightning is likely with any thunderstorm that develops. Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads.

Lightning strikes also increase the risk of brush and wildfires.

A 20-hectare wildfire has ignited Wednesday in Kamloops.

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