From toques and jackets to shorts and T-shirts, things have taken a drastic shift for the warm in the Okanagan.
Kelowna broke heat records on Saturday, April 29 (28.2 C), dating back to the inception of local record-keeping in 1899.
The heat in Vernon this past weekend will also stand the test of time for at least 12 more months, with April 29 and 30 setting heat records for those respective days (27.5 C and 26.7 C).
It was just 25 days earlier, however, when meteorologists were pointing toward record-breaking cold across the region.
Penticton, for instance, experienced its coldest days ever April 4, 5 with overnight lows dropping to -6.1 C and -6.7 C, respectively. Previous records were set in 1936 and 1929.
While Kelowna and Vernon just missed out on setting daily cold-weather-records in early April, Osoyoos joined Penticton in the historic freeze by experiencing a low of -5 C on April 5, the coldest in the community for that particular day.
“This past season, of winter and spring combined, so far has been sort of extraordinary, yet kind of expected,” said Armel Castellan, a meteorologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Castellan says the region has experienced a warmer-than-normal to cooler cycle, and vice versa, through the winter and into early spring.
“When I look back at the temperatures that we’ve seen, like in February, we had a warm first two-thirds of the month and then a really cold, arctic outbreak…and we’ve had this cycle both ways a few times over.”
The meteorologist acknowledged the significance of Kelowna setting a monthly heat record on April 29, but adds that people should be less concerned with statistics and more about the environmental impact warm temperatures could have on their communities in the coming days.
“There always seems to be some sort of daily record broken somewhere, so it’s fairly typical and not surprising but it becomes more of a conversation when we talk about the impact of those temperatures,” Castellan said. “The temperature maximum after a cool stretch is causing some evacuations from the freshet and spring melt.”
The Mission Creek Greenway in Kelowna saw its first closure of the season on Tuesday, May 2, following rising river levels and concerns over flooding.
“The trickle-down effect indirectly, or directly, from the heat is that it’s causing environmental implications,” Castellan said.
The B.C. River Forecast Centre has since issued the Okanagan with a flood warning.
Temperatures are expected to drop across the region by Saturday, May 6, to around 14 C.
Still, Environment Canada’s longer-term models indicate a warmer-than-normal for the entirety of May is most likely, according to Castellan said.