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Thompson-Okanagan will likely have a warmer than average winter

Warmer than average winter

December 1 is the first day of winter if you're looking at the meteorological calendar and according to Environment Canada, the Thompson-Okanagan is in for a warmer than average winter.

"It's the official first day of winter for meteorology," says Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist. "December is coming in like a lamb for us here in the Okanagan and Thompson. There's a big ridge of high pressure that's more like the summer than the winter. 

"It is of course not giving us summertime temperatures just because the sun has very little power this time of year."

Environment Canada is forecasting highs this week between 2 and 4 degrees throughout the Thompson-Okanagan. The lows for the week are between 2 and 4 degrees below zero. 

As the week goes on, more clouds are expected in the valleys while the high terrain will remain sunny. This year is La Nina and having a warmer than average winter during this is uncommon.

"In La Nina we usually get colder than average so this is a flip," explains Lundquist. "Our seasonal forecast is for warmer and it's probably because the waters at the pacific off B.C. are very warm and there's a lack of arctic sea ice. The arctic is not freezing up like it used to do, so there's a bit of climate change in that as well."

With these changes in the forecast, it's not clear if the Thompson-Okanagan will get a white Christmas, but the ski hills will remain white. 



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