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Heavy rainfall to continue soaking the Okanagan; up to 15 cm of snow could hit Hwy 3

Kelowna is expecting to see a lot of rainfall in the next day. Courtesy: Jody Tahara

Steady rainfall is expected to soak large swaths of the Southern Interior while snow makes a return to some higher elevations as this week gets underway, according to an Environment Canada special weather statement.

The rainfall warning covers the greater Vernon and Kelowna areas, as well as the Shuswap, Yoho ParkKootenay Park, East Columbia and West Columbia.

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“A low-pressure centre over Montana will slow as it enters southern Alberta today and remain in the area through Tuesday,” the national weather agency said in a statement.

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Somewhere between  20 and 40 mm of rain is expected before Tuesday afternoon.

“There is some uncertainty associated with the exact trajectory of the low and this will be a factor impacting the amount of rain in each region,” Environment Canada said.

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While lower elevations will see rain, Highway 3, from Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass, is expected to get unseasonable snowfall starting Monday night and continuing through to Tuesday morning.

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“A slow-moving low-pressure system will give prolonged rain to the Kootenays,” Environment Canada said.

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“As the airmass cools, snow levels will lower to near 1,600 metres late this evening resulting in rain changing to wet snow over higher elevations along Highway 3 – Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass.”

Snowfall accumulations will vary greatly with elevation but for the Kootenay Pass, Environment Canada said nearly 10 to 15 cm of snow can be expected before the snow changes to rain late Tuesday morning.

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