Dry spring setting records in Thompson-Okanagan - InfoNews

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Dry spring setting records in Thompson-Okanagan

Environment Canada meteorologist Matt MacDonald says May was the fifth consecutive month to be drier than normal in the Okanagan. May was warm and dry throughout the Thompson- Okanagan regions.
June 06, 2019 - 6:00 AM

The Thompson and Okanagan valleys have gone through one of the driest spring periods on record. 

Meteorologist Matt MacDonald says Environment Canada’s spring period, from March through May, saw precipitation down between 31 and 53 per cent in the Thompson-Okanagan region.

Kamloops recorded 69 per cent of normal precipitation, with the Okanagan faring worse. Vernon recorded just 47 per cent of normal, while Kelowna, at 50 per cent, set a record for the driest spring period since records began in 1969.

Penticton recorded 64 per cent of normal precipitation through the March to May period.

Last month was a repeat of the same weather pattern, with Kamloops at 64 per cent of normal precipitation, Vernon at 42 per cent, Kelowna at 42 per cent and Penticton at 61 per cent of normal.

It was also warmer than normal by 2 to 3.5 degrees Celsius, says MacDonald, with Kelowna also experiencing the second warmest May on record, and Vernon its third warmest, finishing the month an average three degrees warmer than normal.

May was the fifth consecutive month in the Okanagan for recording drier than normal conditions.

The warmer, drier weather’s effect on the wildfire season might have been mitigated somewhat by a 50 per cent reduction in the amount of lightning strikes normally recorded in May, which was about the only good weather news on that front last month.

MacDonald says a cooling trend is moving into the region which could bring 10 to 15 mm of rain over the next few days, with a new high pressure ridge expected to begin building by Sunday.

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