A Short Drive

Yesterday we took a short drive from Penticton to Westbank (just outside Kelowna) to do an errand. On the way, we saw that Lake Okanagan was displaying some rather interesting weather effects.

There had been sun, but a huge dark cloud swept in to accentuate the very unsettled lake.

The weather in the Okanagan Valley has been unusually and unexpectedly cold and snowy, the result of a widespread Arctic front that has affected much of North America.

Although it’s nothing like what I experience in the Northwest Territories where I work, it’s still difficult when many people aren’t used to this level of cold. The infrastructure to deal with it isn’t available. Plows and sanding trucks are in short supply, people aren’t used to driving on ice and snow and they’re likely lacking the proper clothing and footwear to stay warm. Their vehicles may not be the best for dealing with the conditions. It’s a shock, to say the least.

Lake Okanagan was producing a lot of water vapour as it came into contact with the much colder air above it, and especially with this dark cloud.

This cold spell is supposed to be very short-lived with temperatures predicted to rise above 0°C by Sunday or Monday. I hope so!

16 thoughts on “A Short Drive”

  1. The clouds over the lake look a bit menacing. A massive snowstorm can definitely come as a shock to those who are not used to driving in snowy conditions. But what I never understood is why some people are even out on the roads when there are extreme snow or snow squall warnings and are so underprepared for it. It blows my mind that some people here in Ontario don’t even have winter tires.

    1. They definitely were of the menacing variety but they dispersed fairly quickly though.

      I don’t understand either why people go out when they know they’re not equipped, although I guess if you have to, then you have to. I would be trying to catch a ride with someone who has four wheel drive and snow tires.

      A friend in Vancouver sent a video of someone he was stuck behind trying to go up a hill. An expensive, overpowered car but only summer tires and apparently no common sense. There never should have been an attempt to go up the hill in the first place as he only succeeded in causing a massive traffic snarl. Agreed – people not having snow tires in Ontario is just plain dangerous.

  2. Not picturing many swimmers or water skiers in that lake right now. Crazy cold weather. Thanks La Nina. -38 (feels like -46) here this AM. Hmmm, no icy bevvie on the deck, methinks. Hopefully our errands are all done until after Christmas. Merry Christmas Lynette. Allan

    1. The water is definitely a lot warmer than the air since there’s so much vapour coming off the lake, but still not warm enough for a swim. 😉 You have -38? Ugh. Stay warm. We’re at -15 with temperatures slated to climb to +1 by Sunday. We have a couple of errands today but are otherwise going to be hunkered down. Cheers.

  3. People in the far north are much better adapted to living in those harsh conditions. By comparison, people in the Okanagan and in the Lower Mainland are quite helpless and impractical – mainly because this kind of weather is unusual. But I think we’re going to have to get used to working with these conditions as they are happening more often down south. Your photos are really good, Lynette. Keep warm.

    1. Thank you very much, Anneli. I agree that this kind of cold weather is difficult for people who aren’t used to it and don’t expect it. The cities probably don’t have much money in a snow removal budget and so the streets aren’t plowed or sanded as much as they really need to be. People often over-estimate how well they can drive in these conditions, too. I’ve seen some really poor or unsafe winter driving over the last few days; it’s unsettling to see how many people are trying to drive with summer tires.

      You’re right; I think we might be seeing a lot more of this. People here are really complaining about the cold and frankly, I was really surprised too, but on the plus side it will be a white Christmas!

  4. Thanks for the preview. They’re making some noise about snow around here, but the cold is the real story. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are all predicted to have highs in the twenties and lows in the single digits, all Fahrenheit, God bless America. There’s gonna be a big pile of firewood at my back door. Merry Christmas and take care of one another.

    1. Yes, I understand that this front will make its way quite far into the south – there’s a lot of power behind it, unfortunately. I don’t know Fahrenheit temperatures, but I believe the 20s are below freezing? Enjoy your fires! Season’s Greetings to you and your family, Kenny. Cheers.

  5. Yeah, we’re getting hit too, and it’s arriving with a snowstorm. That’s life this time of year. 🤷‍♀️❄🛷
    Merry Christmas, Lynette.

    1. Agreed – it is December, after all. This one is packing quite a wallop, though, so be sure you have your warmies ready!
      Seasons Greetings to you, Lori. I wish you good health and a happy time. 🙂🎄

    1. I couldn’t agree more! This could be NWT except for two things: the lake isn’t frozen solid, and it’s not -40! It’s rather unsettling to arrive here expecting a respite from the weather and an Arctic blast follows us. Ugh.

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