Thunderstorms mixed with snow at high elevations overnight

Thunder snow overnight

Plummeting air temperatures and warmer ground temperatures resulted in a unique weather phenomenon in some areas of the Interior Tuesday night – thunder snow. And more snow is expected across the province later this week.

Fifteen centimetres of snow fell over Alison Pass near Manning Park overnight, and more continues to fall Wednesday morning. Snow fell across other high elevation passes as well, and the Coquihalla Highway between Merritt and Kamloops remains slippery. With the snow, and rain at lower elevations, also came lightning.

“The airmass that's coming over us is so cold aloft, and the ground had been so warm for so long, there's still enough energy to produce a few thunderstorms here and there,” said Doug Lundquist, meteorologist with Environment Canada. “And it's that type of instability that's affected Alison Pass and the higher elevation terrain.”

And while we may have seen the last of the thunderstorms for now, more snow and plummeting temperatures are expected across the Interior later this week and through the weekend. Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, warning of more early season snow and below seasonal temperatures.

“There is definitely a new system coming in and we're talking about periods of snow from Thursday night through Friday, and an Arctic front coming through on Friday,” Lundquist said. “I wouldn't be surprised if we see some white on the ground here [in the Valley] Friday, so it's a good reminder to get ready.”

Snow accumulation of two to 10 centimetres is expected from the Fraser Canyon to the Kootenays. 

Temperatures are expected to hit a low of -10 C Saturday, before warming to more seasonal temperatures by the middle of next week.

“It is a little unusual to have an Arctic outbreak this early coming up, especially what we're expecting Thursday through Friday there and that cold on the weekend, but not unheard of,” Lundquist said.

And for those planning on heading to the polls Saturday, make sure you layer up, as temperatures are expected to reach a high of just one degree.

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