Severe thunderstorm warning issued for Central Okanagan

A map of B.C. showing areas under a severe thunderstorm warning (red), a severe thunderstorm watch (yellow) and a smoky skies bulletin (grey). Environment Canada

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for part of B.C.’s Southern Interior.

Issued by Environment Canada Thursday afternoon just before 3 p.m., the weather alert warned of a thunderstorm located five kilometres east of Kelowna along Highway 33.

At 4 p.m., it was said to be 15 km southeast of Cherryville, moving northeast at 35 km/h towards Yeoward Mountain.

The thunderstorm was said to be moving slowly to the northeast at five km/h, causing heavy downpours.

Click to play video: 'Kelowna Weather Forecast: May 17'
Kelowna Weather Forecast: May 17

At the same time, most of the Okanagan was under a severe thunderstorm watch. That lesser weather alert stretched from just north of Vernon to the U.S. border and included part of the Boundary region.

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And, to compound matters, a special air quality statement for smoky skies, issued Wednesday, was still in effect.

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“Many regions throughout the B.C. Interior are being impacted or are likely to be impacted by wildfire smoke over the next 24-48 hours,” said the national weather agency.

Environment Canada issues severe thunderstorm warnings and watches when large hail, damaging winds or torrential rainfall are possible.

Click to play video: 'B.C. evening weather forecast: May 17'
B.C. evening weather forecast: May 17

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