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‘Anything is on the table’ for Okanagan May long weekend weather

Temperatures in the Okanagan are expected to remain ‘seasonal’ throughout the week
(Brennan Phillips- Western News)

People in the Okanagan hoping the weather will take a turn for the summer this Victoria Day long weekend may be in for a disappointing few days.

“We’re still looking for that introduction to summer and we don’t expect to see this upcoming long weekend,” said Bobby Sekhon, a meteorologist at Environment Canada. “We’re not expecting terrible weather either, though. The best we can expect is pretty average temperatures all weekend.”

It’s been a “colder than seasonal” spring, according to Sekhon, who says this month has been an unusual one as far as May is concerned in the Okanagan.

“Typically, there are at least a few days in May where we’re used to seeing mid-20 C days and sometimes even upper 20 C days, but this month we just haven’t really seen any stretch of warm weather.”

Historically, Penticton’s temperature in May reaches an average high of 20 C. Data from Kelowna, Vernon and Salmon Arm indicate similar trends. This long weekend, though, Environment Canada is forecasting that the usual average may be the best-case scenario.

Average temperatures across the Okanagan are expected to reach highs of 17 C to 20 C, from Friday to Monday, according to early weekend projections.

“There’s also a chance of showers throughout the long weekend,” Sekhon added. “That’s not to say we won’t see some warmer temperatures with sunshine, but it will just be those unsettling conditions.”

Environment Canada officially recognizes the start of summer on June 1. The cooler than usual springtime could linger into next month, however, delaying Okanagan’s introduction to summerlike temperatures in 2022.

Sekhon recalled cooler springs in the past that have carried all the way into July. Though the meteorologist believes the below-seasonal temperatures may continue into early June, it’s still too early to make season-long predictions before the summer solstice.

“As we get to the later part of June, things can change very fast,” he said. “(The cooler spring) hasn’t been entirely unexpected but certainly, it’s been a little out of ordinary in terms of a delayed start to the warmer season.”

When it comes to springtime weather, the only thing people can really expect is unpredictability, according to Environment Canada.

Expectations for the upcoming Victoria Day long weekend are no different.

“Anything is on the table…from snow to thunderstorms, rain and sunshine,” Sekhon said.

A misty morning in Penticton on May 16. Environment Canada is calling this spring in the Okanagan "a little out of the ordinary." (Brennan Phillips- Western News)

READ MORE: ‘Instability’ and ‘unpredictability’ cause Okanagan temperatures to drop


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