January was a lot less winter-like than usual in Kamloops, Okanagan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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January was a lot less winter-like than usual in Kamloops, Okanagan

Snow shovels didn't get too much of a workout in January throughout the Thompson and Okanagan as Environment Canada reported the month was warmer and drier overall.

If you were thinking January was pretty nice weather-wise in the Okanagan and Kamloops, you were correct. Temperatures were warmer than normal and there was a lot less snow and rain than usual.

Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist says the first month of 2021 finished with temperatures averaging two degrees above normal in Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon, while Kamloops residents experienced a January with temperatures that average three degrees higher than usual for the time of year.

“No records were set in Kamloops or the Okanagan but it was warm everywhere,” Lundquist says.

There was also less snow and rain across the region, with Kelowna finishing third in the list of the top five Januarys for lowest precipitation on record.

“Kelowna was the only place to make it into the top five,” Lundquist says. However, those records for Kelowna only date back to 1969.

Kelowna finished the month with half the normal precipitation for January, with Penticton even drier at 40 per cent of normal.

Kamloops only had 50 per cent of normal January precipitation, with Vernon taking top spot for most rain and snow last month, receiving 70 per cent of its normal precipitation.

“We don’t have actual sunshine stats, but I feel January was also sunnier than normal, at least in Kelowna,” Lundquist says.

Predictions for a return to more winter-like conditions are fading now that February is here.

Environment Canada’s long-term outlook and spring prediction (which starts March 1 in the meteorological world) is for near average conditions for the next four months.

“We thought maybe there would be a cold end to winter, but if anything, it’s just getting back to average. The prairies might see some cold but the mountains should protect us from any potential Arctic outbreaks,” Lundquist says.

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