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Let it snow! December 1 brings first snowfall of the season to the south Okanagan

Sunday brought the first snowfall of the season to Penticton. .
Sunday brought the first snowfall of the season to Penticton. . James Burrell\Submitted

The first day of December brought the first snowfall to the south Okanagan. Central and north Okanagan experienced a light dusting of snow as well.

Environment Canada said a few centimetres of snow is forecast to fall across the Okanagan Valley.

READ MORE: Okanagan weather: first snowfall of the season in the valley bottom

“It’s quite light due to a system coming up from the south,” said meteorologist Dave Wray.

“It is not well organized but it’s enough to give us a little bit of a blanket. So we are expecting anywhere between 1-2 centimetres accumulation today and then potentially up to another two centimetres through tonight.”

Snowfall in downtown Kelowna on Sunday.
Snowfall in downtown Kelowna on Sunday. Kimberly Davidson/Global News

He said commuters should prepare for elevated snow levels on the B.C. Interior highway mountain passes, with up to five centimetres of snowfall.

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“So not a major event but for the first of the year it’s something to look out for,” Wray said.

While no snowfall warnings have been issued in the Okanagan, Environment Canada said the snow is expected to stick around until mid-week.

READ MORE: Okanagan weather: risk of frost, more mountain snow to start October

“I don’t think it will melt too quickly. We are looking at daytime highs tomorrow getting up to around the zero degree mark, so what snow we do get today will stick around through the day tomorrow,” he said.

On Nov. 12, Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for the Thompson, north Okanagan and Shuswap regions. The weather service said five centimetres of snow fell overnight, and an additional five to 10 centimetres of snow fell the following day. The snow event was the first of the season for those communities.

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Snowfall in Enderby on Sunday.
Snowfall in Enderby on Sunday. Megan Turcato\Global News

Meanwhile, a special weather statement and snowfall warning has been issued for the Fraser Valley, with up to 10 centimetres of snow forecast in the eastern part of the valley.

A snowfall warning has also been issued for the north coast, including Stewart, with up to 15 centimetres of snow expected to fall on Monday.

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Wray is encouraging commuters and those braving the snow to take extra safety precautions.

“We can be quite experienced driving in the snow but whenever it is the first or second snowfall, just take your time, leave yourself some extra room in between vehicles, dress warmly,” he said.

Routes requiring winter tires or carry chains in the southern Interior.
Routes requiring winter tires or carry chains in the southern Interior. Ministry of Transportation

As of Oct. 1, drivers travelling on most B.C. highways are required to equip their vehicles with winter tires until April 30.

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Drivers without the proper winter tires could receive a fine of $121, commercial vehicles not carrying chains when required could face a $196 penalty, and commercial vehicles bypassing an active chain-up area could face a $598 fine.