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Possible rain to start but then spring-like temperatures for Easter long weekend

Coming off a bone-dry March, April is much trickier to predict, says Environment Canada
A sunny day at Knox Mountain in Kelowna, meteorologists say weather in the Okanagan is expected to stay mild before things warm up in the spring. (File photo)

It’s technically spring but according to Environment Canada a permanent turn to spring-like weather isn’t imminent quite yet.

While daytime highs in Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton have remained around 10 C since the end of last week, overnight conditions remain below zero. That’s about 3 C below region-wide averages for this time of year.

From Saturday, April 8, to Monday, meteorologists say overnight lows will take a 10 C swing for the warm, signalling a return to “seasonal temperatures,” after a colder-than-normal March.

“There’s going be a change in the weather pattern, with more of a pickup from the southwest coast,” said Bobby Sekhon, a meteorologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada.

A shift in temperature this long weekend is expected to come with up to a 60 per cent chance of showers, starting Good Friday and thru to Monday, according to the federal weather agency.

Spring is here but it doesn’t guarantee spring-like conditions on the mountain highways, warns ICBC. Unpredictable weather and a potential increase in traffic are challenges B.C. drivers may face if travelling over the upcoming Easter long weekend.

Every Easter long weekend, an average of two people are killed and 610 are injured in 2,200 crashes throughout B.C., said ICBC.

The forecasted precipitation on the long weekend comes after the second driest March in Penticton’s history. Environment Canada adds it was the sixth driest March in Kelowna, and fourth driest in Vernon.

Penticton recorded zero millimetres of snowfall in March.

“Spring is one of those tricky seasons,” Sekhon said. “March in the Okanagan is a fairly dry month anyway, but despite that, these numbers are quite low.”

Temperatures are expected to drop across the region by the middle of the next week, though, Sekhon added.

By mid-April, temperatures will return to “seasonal.”

“It’s going to be a little up and down, but that’s not uncommon for April weather,” Sekhon said. “Things will be getting warmer, of course, but we could still get those colder stretches and even snowfall.”

Based on records from 1982 to 2010, the average last day of “spring frost” in Penticton is April 29. In Kelowna, it’s May 10.

“We can still see below-zero temperatures in April,” Sekhon said.

“We’re not out of the woods yet.”

READ MORE: Brush fire near Penticton Airport brought under control


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