Temperatures, avalanche danger rising in the Interior

By James Peters / Chad Harris
March 10, 2017 - 3:00pm Updated: March 10, 2017 - 3:32pm

KAMLOOPS — Rising temperatures may lead to a sigh of relief from Interior residents sick of winter, but they will offer no comfort to back country users.

Environment Canada's Alyssa Charbonneau says temperatures that have been below normal for weeks will actually soar to above normal by early next week.

"We see a warming trend coming that will see temperatures rise from below normal, to above normal. As we see some warmer moist Pacific air move into the interior of the province. So for Kamloops we are looking at highs in Monday and Tuesday reaching the mid-teens," explained Charbonneau.

WATCH: Another day, another snowfall in Kamloops

Charbonneau notes precipitation that falls as rain in the valley bottoms may still fall as snow on higher elevations, so highway travelers need to exercise caution.

"Especially as we are transitioning into this warmer air, it is going to start to warm up in the valley, but some of the higher elevation routes may still see some snowfall. If people are traveling this weekend, make sure that they are checking the forecast for those higher routes, because you might encounter some changing weather conditions."
 

Avalanche Canada says the slide danger will be elevated this weekend, from 'considerable' to 'high' in most parts of the Columbia range.

Forecaster Cam Campbell says a lot of snow has fallen since the beginning of March.

"Things are particularly touchy right now. We have seen incremental loading with 15, 20 centimetres here and there, every other day. It has amounted to well over a metre of snow since the beginning of the month, which is quite unstable, producing some very large avalanches," said Campbell.

Campbell says it's likely we will see both natural and human-triggered avalanches this weekend.

"We are looking at elevated danger for the weekend, generally considerable, or even high danger in some areas which means that people triggering avalanches is likely, and we are likely to see some natural avalanches in some places. It is probably a good time to stick to non-avalanche terrain, unless you know what you are doing."

He notes March is the deadliest month of the year for avalanche fatalities.

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