Mother Nature finally appears ready to help BC firefighters

By James Peters
July 17, 2017 - 10:15am Updated: July 17, 2017 - 12:26pm

KAMLOOPS — There is a glimmer of hope for the BC wildfire crisis in this week's Environment Canada weather forecast.

While typical July hot and dry conditions return for the beginning of the week, Forecaster Alyssa Charbonneau says a change is in the offing starting on Wednesday.

"We might see a chance of showers on Wednesday, and then on Thursday, we finally have some rain forecast for the southern half of the province," said Charbonneau. 

"We've got a disturbance that's going to move across, it's going to produce a wide area of showers, and that will move out on Friday."

That would be welcome news for BC Wildfire Service crews struggling to contain the dozens of rapidly-advancing wildfires across the southern and central Interior.

But Charbonneau notes the new system won't be without its danger.

"We are finally expecting some widespread rain showers. However, there is a risk of a thunderstorm in there, maybe even on Wednesday and definitely on Thursday. It's definitely welcome rain, but we'll have to see exactly where (the thunderstorms) might develop, and what threat they might pose."

"Certainly on Thursday, it looks like it's going to be wet over the southern part of the province into the Kamloops area, so it doesn't look like a dry lightning situation there. We are looking at between 5 to 10 millimetres of rain, widespread over the region."

As for the beginning of the week, Charbonneau says there is good news there as well, as winds will be calm.

"Winds could pick up to the 15 kilometres per hour range or so. Some areas in the south will see some stronger winds gusting above 20 kilometres per hour, but we're not expecting widespread, significant winds at all.

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