(File photo)

Perfect storm: Over a metre of snow hits Okanagan highways

The Coquihalla and Allison Summit were hit the hardest

The winter storm that blew through the Okanagan and the B.C. interior last week dumped more than a metre of snow on the Connector, the Coquihalla, Highway 1 and other mountain passes, according to Environment Canada.

At the height of the storm, the weather agency recorded between five and 10 centimetres of snow accumulating an hour, something that is very rare according to Environment Canada meteorologist Bobby Sekhon.

“I wouldn’t say that that was very normal,” said Sekhon. “Keeping that rate up for a 12-hour stretch was quite exceptional.”

READ MORE: Avalanche warning issued for several southern mountainous regions in B.C.

Sekhon said the Coquihalla received up to 97 cm while Allison Pass got 103 cm.

He said the heavy snowfall that started on Dec. 19 and continued non-stop into the early morning hours of Dec. 21 came because of a lack of warm air over the valley.

“An atmospheric river brought a lot of moisture to the coast,” said Sekhon.

“The warmest air was further south, and that’s how it was set up to be the perfect storm over those passes.”

Sekhonsaid he couldn’t say for certain whether any snowfall records were broken, but nevertheless it was enough to cause traffic problems throughout the weekend.

For those trying to get home for the holidays, it appears Mother Nature intends to let up a bit for the next few days with no more snowfall expected this week.

“We’re into a generally dryer pattern now,” said Sekhon.

“Mix of sun and clouds with cloudy mornings and not a whole lot more over the next seven days or so.”

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@KelownaCapNews
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