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Old 03-04-2013, 12:10 AM   #1
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Winter in Kelowna

So I may be moving up to Kelowna this summer for a couple years and am starting to get a few things in order before that happens. One thing I'm curious to know about are the winters up there. My current car is pretty slammed... average parking lot speed bumps are a thing to avoid, basically. I'm wondering what the roads are like up there. I don't doubt that the main roads are usually cleared asap whenever snow hits, but how are the side roads? I'm trying to move into the city so hopefully it wont be much of an issue but I would like to go driving elsewhere on my days off. Would I be better served with picking up a cheap 4x4/awd with stock clearance or am I fine in my current Accord (though possibly raise it up an inch or two)? I've just been idly browsing CL and looking at cheap Subies and awd Volvos.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:22 AM   #2
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I moved to Vernon this past year....and honestly the winter is pretty mild
the roads are cleared almost immediately after a snowfall....and the roads are generously salted.
I did end up buying a used FX45 for the winter months as I drive a soft top convertible and didnt want to drive that during the winter.
I left all season tires on my FX...and was fine even for my treks up to Silverstar.

I would just avoid the Coq during the winter unless you have a awd or 4X4 w/ good snow tires.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:23 AM   #3
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i dont think clearance will be an issue, i go to kelowna and penticton regularly for the winter, hwy driving is nice if u have good snowies, it dosnt actually snow much out there, its just VERY cold... and 0 humidity, i suggest stocking up on scarves and chap stick, hope that helps, having a winter beater is always nice tho!
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:32 AM   #4
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i dont think clearance will be an issue, i go to kelowna and penticton regularly for the winter, hwy driving is nice if u have good snowies, it dosnt actually snow much out there, its just VERY cold... and 0 humidity, i suggest stocking up on scarves and chap stick, hope that helps, having a winter beater is always nice tho!
couldnt agree more w the chap stick and lotion
my lips are always cracking and hands are super dry
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:48 AM   #5
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couldnt agree more w the chap stick and lotion
my lips are always cracking and hands are super dry
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
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it dosnt actually snow much out there, its just VERY cold...
My three winters in Kelowna were like a Mexican vacation compared to my time in Ontario/Quebec...

Anyways, the Coquihalla is bad if you don't have snow tires and aren't obnoxiously low. You don't need 4x4 or AWD, just have proper tires, know how to drive, and for god's sake when they advise against travelling it, don't try to make it anyways. The highways and main roads are pretty well cleared although not to the standards I came to expect back east. Side roads less so but certainly miles better than any service you'll get on the coast. There was only once that the little hill up to my apartment (Google Maps) was icy enough that I couldn't get my summer mode s14 up to it. That being said it wasn't as enjoyable (unintentional sudden drift mode activated) to drive during the winter and promptly picked up a Jeep. With road salt and whatnot on top of the snow and ice if you plan on taking trips to ski/board/travel anywhere up there in the winter I'd probably recommend picking up a winter car.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:34 AM   #7
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The winters can get pretty gnarly. Can be mild as well. Ive seen both there. Snow tires are a worth while investment.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:49 AM   #8
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Yeah, I'm familiar with the Coq since I used to drive it all the time during winter. I've just never stayed in Kelowna longer than a night or two during winter time, so I'm unfamiliar with how the typical winter is.

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Old 03-04-2013, 11:23 AM   #9
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Typically they don't get the same massive snow dumps the lower mainland does, but they do get a lot usually and its light fluffy stuff because of the desert atmosphere. It also stays winter a lot longer. Q winter beater with a set of snowies will make you happy. Why you moving?
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiiipi View Post
couldnt agree more w the chap stick and lotion
my lips are always cracking and hands are super dry
Was up in Prince George for a couple weeks once in winter and holy shiet it's dry up there. I was only there for 2 weeks but lips were always chapped, hands were always dry and came back with that flaky dry alligator skin.

Didn't realize it until someone mentioned how dry it is up there. Thompson Okanagon area is much worst as its kind of like a desert like atmosphere.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:09 PM   #11
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Snow is better and doesn't get icy like here I noticed. In Kamloops I drove fine in snow but here it gets icier I noticed. Drivers are stupid everywhere but there has less amounts than here lol
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:12 PM   #12
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Born and raised in Kelowna, and I do snow removal in the winter....


This winter, we had 16 snowfalls. 1 on November 12, 8 in December and 7 in January.
five were under 1"
five were 1-2"
four were 2-3"
and two were 3-5"
That is amounts for the neighbourhoods outside of downtown. And is pretty regular for our winters.

As far as it being 'very cold' lol you've gotta be kidding. Its a little colder than tropical Vancouver, but it may as well be California here compared to anywhere North of Kamloops or east of Kelowna. We usually get one week of -10 to -15* but for the most part the temp hovers between -5 and +2 all winter. I put my winter jacket on like 3 times this year.

Usually, downtown area and near the lake mostly melts off within a day of the snowfall. Unless it is a real heavy hard snowstorm, the major roads are going to be plowed before you get on them and they usually plow all night and all day as it snows. They have also been quite regular applying pre-anti-icing, and post-de-icing spray so the major roads hardly ever have any deep snow on them. If anything, just hard packed snow. The main side streets are usually done within a few hours, and almost the entire city is plowed by the time you go home from work at the end of the day.

Long story short, clearance isn't really an issue. And since Kelowna is pretty flat unless you live in one of the outer neighbourhoods in the hills (suburbs if you will) you wont need a 4x4. Basically if you live in a condo or apartment, you wont be on a hill. But since the roads will be icy, you will need winter tires. Anywhere you need to go you should be alright in a low fwd with winter tires.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:07 PM   #13
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hi lomac

i loved to kelowna for school 2 years ago and drive a pretty lowered GTI...i dont have any issue with being low (as long as you dont mind the occasional scrape) and being FWD isnt too big of a concern even when going to big white because the snow is usually plowed right away...as for condition of the roads...most of them are decent but smaller streets can have lots of cracks and potholes in them
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:43 AM   #14
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pfffttt...


of course you need a 4x4.













honestly, i've been out to kelowna every year since i could drive. used to take my camry out there and now i take my 4runner. what i noticed is that driving in and around kelwona is fine with a fwd car like a accord or camry but driving back and forth between kelwona to the lower mainland is where 4x4/awd is nice to have. not saying its necessary but its just nice to have.

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Old 03-08-2013, 07:52 AM   #15
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Best bet would be to buy a winter beater, get a cheap $1000 truck or car and you will have nothing to worry about.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:21 PM   #16
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Ahh.. Kelowna.. land of the soccer moms!

I lived in Kelowna for 3 winters and I would fully agree with RRxtar's assessment. Chapstick and allergy meds were an absolute must for me - the zero humidity there will have your lips peeling in a matter of days, and in the spring I suffered HUGE with the pollen counts in Kelowna. Ponderosa Pine pollen is so bad, you'll see in the spring a yellow ring around the shoreline of OK Lake and you'll find a layer of it on your car every morning you wake up.
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