The beautiful sunshine on the crisp white snow might have lead you to believe it was a mild winter morning on Wednesday.
But, it was not so. As residents of the Central Okanagan stepped outside a bitter -25 C with wind chill slapped them in the face. The bright side, temperatures could warm up to -9 C later in the day as it’s expected to be mainly sunny with a light wind this afternoon.
Meteorologist Alyssa Charbonneau says while it is defiantly cold – it’s not a record. It was once -30 C without the wind chill in Kelowna on this day in 1909.
To the south it was a tad warmer at -21C with the wind chill, with the possibility of warming to -7 C in the South OKanagan later in the day.
In the North Okanagan temperatures have dipped down to -24 C with the wind chill and could warm up to -9 C in the afternoon.
Residents in the Shuswap are feeling the chill at -27 C with the wind in Salmon Arm. Temperatures there could warm up to -9 C thanks to the afternoon sunshine.
There is an extreme cold warning for the Nicola region, which according to Environment Canada, means a combination of cold temperatures and wind chill gives a temperature of -35 C or below.
Charbonneau says it is possible Merritt could meet a record temperature today.
This cold weather is due to an arctic front that has moved south, bringing cold dry air.
In B.C., the coldest spot on the map today is Puntzi Mountain in the Cariboo with a temperature of -34.5 C without the wind chill
The cold snap is set to continue as residents can expect another chilly morning on Thursday.
“It will warm up to about -15 C in the Okanagan on Friday, but the pattern will really change this weekend,” says Charbonneau. “The warmer air will move in and temperatures are forecast to rise above seasonal normal by the beginning of next week.”
For Kelowna, Environment Canada is actually forecasting a high of 2 C with a 60 per cent chance of flurries on Jan. 17.
While this cold snap doesn’t suit everyone it has certainly provided a beautiful setting on Okanagan Lake.
The cold air sitting above the warmer water is causing an evaporation process, which looks like steam rising from the lake.
“It looks like steam but it actually kind of fog,” said Charbonneau.
Either way it made for a picturesque morning as commuters made their way over the W.R. Bennett Bridge on Wednesday.