Windy weather — but no rain — expected late Friday

It might be for just a few minutes, but expect to have to hang on to your hat later this afternoon.

Environment Canada is warning of wind gusts later today as a cold front moves across British Columbia.

Southwest winds to 60 km/h will affect the southern interior this afternoon ahead of the front while northwest winds to 60 km/h will affect the central interior and Columbias in the wake of the front.

That means we’ll likely get the wind but little moisture.

 

It’s a different picture in the Cariboo and Chicoltin, where isolated thunderstorms are expected.

The BC Wildfire Service anticipates that this weather system will lead to a substantial increase in wildfire activity throughout the region.

This wind event could cause existing fires to grow significantly and any new fires may burn aggressively and spread quickly.

Firefighting crews have spent the last few days preparing for these expected conditions, but containment efforts will be challenged by this wind activity.

A shift in wind direction presents challenges to fire suppression efforts and increases risks to firefighters. Wind coming from a different direction can push wildfires into unburned fuels and trigger volatile fire behaviour.

The increased fire activity may mean more smoke for the South Okanagan through Saturday and into Sunday.

The Columbias and Thompson/Shuswap regions may also see thunderstorms this afternoon and evening.

Brief showers with wind gusts up to 80 km/h are possible near thunderstorms, Environment Canada says.

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