THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – If it felt like weather dominated the headlines throughout June, that’s because if it wasn’t dropping a month’s worth of rain in a day, we were shattering high temperature records around the region.
Lisa Coldwells, an Environment Canada meteorologist, says despite the heavy rains that bookended the beginning and end of the month, the wet stuff was not the story.
“The story this month really was the heat,” says Lisa Coldwells meteorologist with Environment Canada. “This June will likely land in the region’s top five mean temperature warmest months.”
High temperature records were broken across the region at least once, and likely twice throughout the month. On June 8, Vernon broke a 67-year-old heat record when it reached 32.6 Celsius and Penticton reached 36 C, also a record.
Later in the month, Kamloops reached 38.2 C on June 27 and 39.1 C June 28, up from previous 2008 records on the same days. Kelowna also broke its June 28 record at 38.7 C. Penticton was the ‘coolest’ reaching 36.4 C on June 28, still setting a new daily record.
Coldwells couldn’t say, however, if that equated to a drier than normal month because of the interior’s convective rain fall that dotted the month — storms dumping huge quantities of rain in between long spells of dryness.
Comparing one season’s precipitation to the last is “like taking a bunch of grapefruits and trying to make a watermelon,” Coldwell says.
“One storm can be half a month's worth of rain in one day,” she says
This year, on June 3 alone, the city recorded 31.4 mm, equal to the entire rainfall amount for June 2014. Precipitation totals weren’t complete for rainfall yesterday, June 30, but it’s a similar story.
Cities in the Thompson-Okanagan experienced similar precipitation patterns, where the heaviest rainfalls fell at the beginning and the end of the month.
Vernon experienced its heaviest rainfalls on the 29, at 20.5 mm where Penticton saw 12.2 mm, Kelowna saw 17.8 mm and Kamloops at 31.4 mm, on the first, second and third of June, respectively.
Kamloops saw the most precipitation in June in the region at 82.5 mm. A distant second, Vernon came in at 52.7 mm, followed by Penticton at 40.8 mm and Kelowna at 30.4 mm.
To put this in context, Penticton experienced a moderate change in precipitation from this June to June of 2014 at 45 mm even. Kelowna also saw relatively little precipitation change registering 35.6 mm from last year June. May of 2015 saw Kelowna just slightly wetter at present experiencing 38.7 mm, while Penticton is slightly dryer at 36.4 mm.
Kamloops saw the biggest, wettest change as June 2014 experienced 31.4 mm, a huge change, also, from the 5.4 mm the city saw just last May. Vernon is also seeing slightly wetter weather from June 2014 registering 39.6 mm, and 44.4 mm this past May.
Making the hot, dry weather worse was those thundershowers with substantial lightning strikes.
Kamloops this weekend alone saw 600 lightning strikes in a 24 hour period recorded in a 50 km diameter around the city. Kelowna, experienced significantly less at 200 strikes.
Coldwells did not have exact numbers for strikes in Vernon, but said they “probably saw a good number.” She says, though, that Penticton was outside this storm system.
Mother Nature also shows no signs of letting up. Coldwells says we can anticipate the first two weeks of July to continue to be hot. Expect temperatures in the mid to low thirties.
- This story was updated at 5:19 p.m. with additional weather information
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