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December will kick off with Kelowna’s first snowfall of the season

To say it’s been a mild start to the winter season in the Kelowna area would be a massive understatement.

Yes, we know winter doesn’t technically begin until a couple days before Christmas, but the Okanagan Valley has typically seen its first snowfall by now – or even several of them.

And while it appears as though November will come to an end as a snowless month, December is going to start with the region’s first snowfall of the season this weekend.

Environment Canada meteorologist Alyssa Charbonneau tells KelownaNow that we’re looking at a few rounds of light snow over the coming days, but it doesn’t look like any extreme amounts at this point.

“We've had this ridge of high pressure, temperatures are fairly cold and now we're going to start to see a few frontal systems, sort of weak ones to begin with, brush up onto the BC coast and sort of spill over into the Interior,” she said over the phone on Wednesday.

“We're looking like it's going to be cold enough to see that moisture fall as snow for the Okanagan, but at this point it's not looking like a really juicy system that's going to bring a heavy amount of snow.”

<who>Photo Credit: City of Kelowna

According to Charbonneau, the first round will begin Thursday night, so technically in the final minutes and hours of November, and last until Friday.

She says it will be just a trace of light snow, maybe up to 2 cm of accumulation, that will taper off by Friday afternoon.

It’s Saturday when you may have to finally break out the snow shovel, as the second round of snow will be a little heavier with potentially 2-5 cm of accumulation.

That will once again taper off in the afternoon before the third round of snowfall arrives Sunday morning and lasts throughout the day.

“This one is looking like it will have a bit more moisture, maybe around 5 cm of snow is what I'm seeing right now, but there's some uncertainty between the computer models,” Charbonneau explained. "It could be higher, it could be lower."

She admitted that there’s still some uncertainty behind both Saturday and Sunday’s forecasts when it comes to snowfall amounts, but we will see some of the white stuff this weekend.

With daytime highs forecast below freezing, it’s highly likely that however much snow does fall will stick around on the ground throughout the weekend before melting away with warmer temperatures next week.

As always, even the slightest amount of snow can mean a whole lot more up in the mountains and that includes high-elevation routes like the Coquihalla and Connector.

Charbonneau advises anyone travelling this weekend to keep an eye out for Environment Canada highway alerts and visit DriveBC for the latest highway conditions and closures.

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