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Snow not likely for Christmas

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Carys Reitsma, right, age 21 months, was not too happy about visiting with Santa along with her baby sister Aliyah, one month, while at Orchard Park Mall with her mom, Brittany and grandmother Lavonne Anton. Santa's hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sunday, 4-8 p.m. and Christmas Eve, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Even if it snowed last night in Kelowna, a white Christmas should only be the stuff of dreams.
No significant snowfalls are expected from today through the middle of next week. And daytime high temperatures should be above zero from Monday through Boxing Day.
"It's usually only a 50-50 chance of having a white Christmas along the lake in Kelowna, and it's probably going to be a lot less than that this year," Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist said Wednesday.
Snow has been a remarkable rarity in Kelowna so far this season. Only eight centimetres of snow has fallen since Nov. 1. Through a typical November and December, the city usually gets 50 centimetres of snow.
The lack of snow has added up to some early-season savings for the City of Kelowna roads division. Since Nov. 1, the city has spent $250,000 on snow-clearing operations, compared to $300,000 during the same period in 2012, according to public works manager Darryl Astofooroff.
But in November and December, much of the budget goes toward simply buying and stockpiling supplies, Astofooroff said.
The Kelowna forecast to month's end indicates only two days with scattered flurries, and daytime highs around the seasonal average of 0 C.
Okanaganites pining for a white Christmas can always board a plane and head to the Prairies. There's 14 centimetres of snow right now on the ground in Calgary, 15 centimetres in Regina, and 29 centimetres in Edmonton.
The forecast high temperature today in Winnipeg is minus 20 C.
"It's definitely a lot whiter on the other side of the Rockies," Lundquist said. "For us, Santa can always use water skis."

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