Cooler, wetter weather in Okanagan, Kamloops not enough to dampen drought, wildfire concerns | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Cooler, wetter weather in Okanagan, Kamloops not enough to dampen drought, wildfire concerns

FILE PHOTO - In spite of a return to a typical June weather pattern, Kamloops and the Okanagan continue to lack sufficient precipitation as the region heads into summer.
June 10, 2021 - 11:00 AM

A week of cooler temperatures and more precipitation is helping reduce the threat of drought and wildfires in Kamloops and the Okanagan, but it’s simply not enough to have more than a dampening effect at this point.

“It is upper low season, but it’s not turning out the way it’s supposed to. I only see precipitation records ranging from two to nine millimetres across the southwest Interior at the main sites,” Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist said today, June 10.

Kamloops has had around nine mm of rain, while Vernon and Penticton have both received three mm. Kelowna has picked up five mm so far in June.

“It’s not anywhere near what we need. The cooler pattern is a good thing compared to the heat we had last week, but it’s not enough rain yet,” Lundquist says.

READ MORE: Record-breaking dry conditions in Okanagan don't bode well for summer wildfire season

The latest BC Wildfire Service seasonal outlook says Kelowna and Vernon set records for the least amount of spring rainfall, Kamloops saw its second-driest spring in more than a century and Penticton recorded its fifth-driest spring. With the amount of June precipitation typically determining the severity of the fire season, B.C. Wildfire suggests if current trends continue, "we can expect both the frequency and size of fires to increase as grass and other fine fuels start to dry out."

There’s a 30 per cent chance of showers along with a possible thunderstorm in Kamloops today, with a high of 19 Celsius, while the Okanagan should see a mix of sun and cloud with highs around 20 C.

Mainly cloudy conditions are expected Friday with highs of around 21 C in the Okanagan and Kamloops.

There’s no rain in the Kamloops weekend forecast. The city should see a mix of sun and cloud Saturday and Sunday with highs of 22 C and 25 C respectively.

Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton have a 60 per cent chance of showers Saturday, decreasing to 40 per cent overnight with a high of 22 C.

READ MORE: Driest spring on record in Kelowna, Vernon has officials concerned

Sunday should see a mix of sun and clouds with a high of 23 C expected.

Lundquist says unless you see just the word 'showers' in the forecast, there likely won't be much rain, adding a 40 or 60 per cent chance of showers isn't going to be much.

"It’ll help, it’s better than sunny and 30 C, but it’s pretty hard to get a whole month of that in June. Heavier rainfall would definitely help,” he says.

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