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August was the Okanagan’s warmest month ever, September to be a ‘mixed bag’

Monthly temperatures in Penticton, Vernon, Kelowna and Salmon Arm were 2 to 4 C higher than normal
A couple enjoys the sunset on Okanagan Lake by the Sicamous. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

August was a historic month for heat in B.C.’s Interior.

Along with featuring the year’s most significant thunderstorms on two different occasions, month-long temperatures in Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon were 2 to 4 C warmer than average.

“It was the warmest August ever recorded in the Okanagan Valley,” said Derek Lee, a meteorologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada. “Just about province-wide, though, we saw anomalies everywhere, with temperatures about 3 C warmer than normal.”

The federal department started its collections of weather records for Kelowna in 1969, with the August average coming in at 20.5 C. In 2022, however, the city experienced a month-long average of 23.5 C.

Lee says the noticeable jump in temperature can also be said for Penticton, Vernon and even the Shuswap.

“We’re used to seeing temperatures in the mid-30s at this time of year for the Interior, but this time around, it was for longer periods of time and more frequent.”

As the summer’s last long weekend approaches, people in the Okanagan can expect the warm and dry weather to stick around from Friday into early Monday. When the kids return to the classrooms Tuesday, though, things might look much different.

“By next week, we’re going to see a cooler air mass settle back in,” Lee explained. “It looks as though temperatures will dip to around 21 C or chillier.”

The hiatus from the heat won’t be an extended one, though, as September continues.

“It’s going to be flip-flop season,” the meteorologist said. “We’ll see more clouds next week but that will be just temporary and then those warmer temperatures look to be coming back by the end of next week.”

Lee anticipates the outlook for the rest of September to follow a similar trend: three or four days of clouds and then a switch back to high pressure that gives the region its familiar warmth.

August’s prolonged heat contributed to Kelowna seeing its fourth-warmest summer ever, dating back to the beginning of June, according to Environment Canada.

Consistent with other cities in the region, Lee says Kelowna’s average-temperature increase from June to August of this year ranks among the highest in B.C.

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