While much of Canada and the United States is suffering through a frigid fortnight, our little valley can only be described as a winter wonderland.

White. Bright. And beautiful.

Mainly sunny skies are expected through the remainder of the weekend, with the temperatures just cool enough — at -2 to -5 — to keep that beautiful blanket of white crisp and clean around the ankles.

Snow blows across Cottonwood Drive around 8 a.m. this morning. An hour later, blue skies were back.

This morning didn’t start that way, with blowing snow and low cloud cover making for a grey Osoyoos morn, but by 9 a.m. the sun was poking through and the sky was turning blue.

It’s a far cry from what our neighbours to the east are experiencing.

Environment Canada has issued extreme cold weather alerts for most of the prairie provinces and almost all of Ontario.

It is calling for daily highs in the -20 to -30 degrees Celsius range in many major cities, with overnight temperatures and wind chill factors making it feel much, much colder.

It’s not much better to the west of us, either.

Extreme cold weather advisories across Canada today. (Yup, all the red.)

BC Hydro crews are working frantically to restore power to more than 40,000 homes in the Fraser Valley after an ice storm knocked customers off the grid.

As of 6 a.m. this morning, BC Hydro was reporting more than 40,000 customers were in the dark as freezing rain continued to coat power lines and roads.

The latest winter storm to move through BC — which dropped about seven centimetres of snow on the South Okanagan — has also caused havoc on provincial highways.

Hwy. 3 between Hope and Princeton was closed overnight because of a high risk of avalanches. It reopened around 10 a.m. this morning.

DriveBC is also reporting up to 35 cm of snow fell on the Coquihalla, closing Hwy. 5. A travel advisory is in effect, with compact snow, slippery sections and limited visibility. Hwy. 5A between Aspen Grove and Princeton remains closed.

A travel advisory is also in effect for Hwy. 97C between Peachland and Merritt. Compact snow, slippery sections and limited visibility due to blowing snow is being reported.

East of Osoyoos, on Hwy. 3, compact snow and slippery conditions are the norm through to Creston. Further east, heavy snowfall and limited visibility is being reported.

If that’s not enough to have you feeling thankful to be living or visiting the South Okanagan, here’s a little more good news: the mild winter weather is expected to continue through the next week, with a high of 2 expected for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

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