Driest summers on record across the Southern Interior - InfoNews

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Driest summers on record across the Southern Interior

Four Interior cities post their driest summers ever.
September 12, 2017 - 8:30 AM

There’s dry and then there’s hundred-year record dry.

Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton each posted record dry summer months for 2017, in each case the least amount of rainfall during June, July and August since records were first kept in those areas.

“It was a summer full of records,” Environment Canada meterologist Doug Lundquist says. “And I think it puts our story in context, why we’ve seen smoke for months on end, why we’re seeing fires everywhere.”

Kelowna took dubious honours as having the driest summer relative to average precipitation with just 7.3 mm of rain against the 110.7 mm it could normally expect for those months.

Annual measurements for Kelowna are also the shortest though, dating back just 48 years to 1969.

Lundquist says records from the other cities date back much further and show Vernon with just 22.6 mm of rain compared to a normal summer of 132 mm. They began tracking rain there in 1900, Lundquist says.

Penticton saw just 18.5 mm of precipitation where the would normally receive 104 mm. Record keeping began in 1908.

Kamloops normally has the least amount of summer rain of the four cities (93.9 mm) but got just a touch more than Kelowna this year with 8.6 mm, still the driest since 1895.

But lack of rain doesn’t necessarily translate into warmest summer, Lundquist adds.

“It was the second warmest summer for Kelowna at an average temperature of 21.3 C when it is usually 18.6,” he says. “That was since 1969. We don’t know the warmest summer oddly, for it’s not mentioned which one it was.”

Depending on how you view heat, you either hated or loved 2017, Vernon’s fourth hottest summer ever.

But it was only Kamloops’ ninth hottest summer while Penticton only cooked up its eleventh hottest.

The Okanagan region has a level three drought rating. The South Thompson region has the highest level four drought rating as determined by the provincial government.


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