For Canadian travelling tourists wishing to embrace the extremely popular and usually serene and spectacular vistas of the Okanagan, an Environment Canada notification issued earlier today may give them second thoughts.
On Saturday, the already weather-beaten region, consisting of flooded paths and harsher than normal challenging terrain, did not stop the persistence of cross-country racers taking on the annual 50 km race held in the region. Sources state that it was fortunate the race was held earlier in the week, because now Environment Canada has issued a new special weather alert for Canadian travellers, tourists, and locals which remains in effect for the British Columbian Okanagan region.
A weather system will affect the Osoyoos, Skaha, and Okanagan lakes areas. Heavy winds and high water levels and waves are predicted to cause flooding and major erosion of shorelines.
This weather system is travelling across the Coast Mountains and into the province’s interior. Wind gusts up to 60 km/hr are expected, which, along with the high water levels will create large waves, particularly on any shoreline exposed to the south. Fortunately, very little rain is predicted and by the end of the week, late Friday perhaps, water levels will have potentially dropped slightly.
Central Okanagan Emergency Operations states that the windy weather “could put pressure on flood protection infrastructure”.
The Environment Canada special weather statement is in effect for the following regions: Central Okanagan, including Kelowna; North Okanagan, including Vernon; and, South Okanagan, including Penticton.
As stated, on Saturday, the already rough weather did not intimidate daring runners who completed a 50 km trail race through the Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park. The race was sold out and began at Okanagan Lake, past vineyards and parks, requiring the racers to be “self-sufficient” and to improvise their own navigation through much of the remote territory traversed during this already challenging cross-country race.
According to the details on the race website, on top of the already wet terrain this year, the route is that much more challenging because along with flooded paths requiring ambition and courage to manoeuvre through, the route also “has an approximately 6,500 foot ascent and descent”. According to one successful finisher of the race, when asked about it today: “We’re lucky the race was a few days ago”. This, after she was informed of the new Environment Canada Weather Alert.