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Weather: Environment Canada forecasting cold, snowy start to new year for Okanagan

A view of Okanagan Lake, Kelowna and West Kelowna. A Christmas Day storm set to hit the coast will likely bring some snow to the Okanagan by Boxing Day and beyond. Global News

It won’t be the whitest Christmas in B.C.’s Southern Interior this year, but you can expect a cold start to 2021.

While there’s some snow on the ground across most of the Okanagan and surrounding regions, Environment Canada isn’t calling for much more snowfall before Boxing Day.

However, Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist tells Global Okanagan that a Christmas Day storm set to hit the South Coast will likely bring some snow to the Okanagan by Boxing Day and beyond.

Read more: Avalanche warning issued for much of Western Canada headed into Christmas weekend

“Boxing Day for sure, we’re going to have some snow through the holidays here,” said Lundquist.

“We’re lucky to even have snow on the ground in Kelowna at this time of year. “It’s only about a 50-50 chance down by the lake that we have snow at Christmas.”

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What has been unusual about December in Kelowna, according to Environment Canada, has been the mild temperatures.

In fact, Lundquist says the mercury has definitely been above average in the lead-up to Christmas.

“The coldest (temperature) I’ve seen in the downtown Kelowna area has only been -7 C. The average low for this time of year is -8 C.”

Click to play video: 'Kelowna Weather Forecast: December 23' Kelowna Weather Forecast: December 23
Kelowna Weather Forecast: December 23 – Dec 23, 2020

Kelowna reached 10 C on Dec. 20, but don’t expect the warm trend to continue into 2021.

“January is looking like a higher probability of being colder than average. And when I look even further into February, that month is highly likely to be colder than average,” said Lundquist.

The national weather agency is also predicting that winter will likely drag into the early spring with the return of La Niña, the cooler sister to El Niño.

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