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Weather records melt away

Tom Ouchi is concerned about the impact warm weather is having on his apple crop in the Bella Vista area. - Morning Star File Photo
Tom Ouchi is concerned about the impact warm weather is having on his apple crop in the Bella Vista area.
— image credit: Morning Star File Photo

Records were scorched for six sizzling September days in Vernon.

Sept. 8 to 13 proved to be the hottest stretch in history for this time of year with the following highs (old records are in brackets):

n Sept. 13 – 28.6 C (28.5 in 2002)

n Sept. 12 – 31.4 (30.6 in 1969)

n Sept. 11 – 32.1 (31.7 in 1973)

n Sept. 10 – 31.7 (30.3 in 1993)

n Sept. 9 – 32 (30 in 1963)

n Sept. 8 – 32.1 (30.7 in 2006)

“It seems like the North Okanagan was even hotter than normal than the South Okanagan,” said Doug Lundquist, Environment Canada meteorologist, of the rare occasion.

He doesn’t doubt that temperatures were unseasonably high, but Lundquist says Vernon weather stations are being inspected to ensure they are working accurately.

While local beaches remained packed with sun-happy people through the hot stretch, the warm weather isn’t as welcome for others.

With picking season getting underway, many orchardists say a lack of cooler temperatures is hurting their crops.

Both a lack of colour and sun-scalding are being seen in local orchards.

“It’s just like a sunburn you would get, the outer skin of the apple can’t take the heat,” said Tom Ouchi, who owns an orchard on Bella Vista Road, and says some farmers are using overhead irrigation to cool their crops down.

“Internally, the apple is not going to keep as long either.”

But an even bigger problem caused by the warm weather is apples aren’t ripening in colour.

“The colour comes mainly from the cooler nights,” said Ouchi, adding that a lack of colour makes apples less appealing to buyers.

“People buy with their eyes. You’d rather buy a nice red apple than one with a brown patch on it.”

But as the evenings start to cool off a little more, Ouchi is confident the crisp colours will soon start to show in crops.

“This change in the weather should be good.”

Although record-breaking weather isn’t anticipated to carry on, Vernon can expect continued sunshine for the week ahead as temperatures are expected to extend above normal.

Today’s forecast is 20 for a high with a chance of showers, Saturday calls for 19 and Sunday might reach 21.

Tuesday and Wednesday call for highs of 23 and 25 respectively.

 

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