Spring is here in the Okanagan

Our first taste of spring is on the way this weekend.

Meteorologist Alyssa Charboneau with Environment Canada says "The reason for this big warm-up is a really strong ridge of high pressure that's going to build right over the province, and kind of stick with us into the middle of next week - and that's what is giving us these well-above seasonal temperatures, and not just for Kelowna, but right across BC." 

Charbonneau says we should enjoy it while we have it because the long range forecast predicts change.

We're "still showing a chance of below normal temperatures for the southern half of BC, of course that's not going foward in the next couple of weeks, but we are seeing a gradual cooling off for the last week of March," she says. 

Charboneau also says a cooler than average spring is in store for April and May - but spring-like cool - no more winter.

The big melt means a change in avalanche conditions in the province.

Avalanche Canada Forecaster Josh Smith says back-country users should check their website for updates before heading out this weekend and next week.

"This will be the first major warning event that the snowpack will have to endure this spring. Any time we see major rapid warming, especially the first time, you generally have elevated avalanche hazard as a result," he says. 

For information on avalanche conditions check out www.avalanche.ca