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‘10 C warmer than normal’: Mild temperatures returning to the Okanagan

Environment Canada’s mild forecast comes after mid-January’s arctic outbreak
The Okanagan is expected to be hit with mild temperatures to end January 2024. (File Photo)

Environment Canada says “a shift” in weather is coming to the Okanagan, after mid-January’s arctic outbreak brought multiple days of extreme cold and heavy snow.

The federal forecaster is calling for extended periods of rain and temperatures of up to 10 C warmer-than-normal to end the month.

Daytime highs for this time of year region-wide typically sit around -1 C, according to Environment Canada meteorologist Lisa Erven. From Jan. 27 to 31, Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon will experience temperatures between 5 to 8 C.

“It’s quite a shift in the weather,” Erven said. “But it hasn’t been a typical winter, as it has been warmer than normal. Aside from that arctic outbreak event in mid-January, it’s been predominately warmer.”

READ MORE: ‘Waterspout’ above Okanagan Lake as extreme cold hits Penticton

The region’s shift from cold to mild isn’t the only thing January is set to produce.

Environment Canada says Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon have already exceeded their normal precipitation totals for the month.

Such statistics — which include 44.5 millimetres in Vernon — come after B.C.’s Interior experienced a “precipitation deficit” through most of 2023.

“We’ll be adding to those totals in the next few days, and we’ll end up with a wetter-than-normal January,” Erven said. “But it will take much more than just one month to make up for that precipitation deficit.”

As of Jan. 24, Kelowna has seen 35.2 millimetres of precipitation while Penticton has also posted an above-average mark of 37.6 millimetres.

“It’s a drop in the bucket, but we’ll take all we can get,” Erven said, referring to the drought-like conditions from late 2023.

All three aforementioned cities are forecasted to see periods of rain on Jan. 28, before experiencing a 60 per cent chance of showers to end the month.

“With the mild air mass that’s moving into the province, not only is it elevating daytime temperatures but also overnight temperatures, too,” the meteorologist said.

“So, any precipitation that falls in the valley is going to come in the form of rain.”

About the Author: Logan Lockhart

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