Kamloops was hot in May but the Okanagan was hotter | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops was hot in May but the Okanagan was hotter

The heat wave in mid-May shattered daily records in Kamloops and the Okanagan as temperatures soared well above 30 Celsius.

The high daytime temperatures helped make the month the hottest on record in Kelowna with a mean temperature of 18.1 C, which is 4.1 C above normal. In Vernon the mean temperature was 17.9 C, which is 4.8 C above normal, and Penticton's mean temperature in May was 17.5 C or 3.6 C above normal.

Kamloops was also hot, with a mean temperature of 18 C, which was 3.4 C above normal, making it the second hottest May on record.

READ MORE: 37 more heat records broken in BC, 8 in Thompson-Okanagan

That heat is coming back next week as the region sits under another ridge of high pressure that will see temperatures rise by about 5 degrees next week compared to this week. It will also be mostly sunny.

“Wednesday, Thursday seem to be the hottest days next week, then gradually backing off the heat into the weekend,” Environment Canada meteorologist Bobby Sekhon told iNFOnews.ca. “Of course, by next weekend the uncertainty (in the forecast) is quite high.”

The current forecast calls for a high of 27 C in Kamloops this Sunday but climbing to 35 C by next Wednesday. The Okanagan is expected to reach 29 C on Sunday, climbing to 34 C by Wednesday.

High pressure ridges also mean dry conditions.

“Usually late May through June is when we start to see some of those upper lows coming through, giving cool wet weather but this year we haven’t seen too much of that for southern BC,” Sekhon said.

June is typically the wettest month of the year in the Thompson-Okanagan region.

“Normally June rains will set the stage for the fire season for the summer,” Sekhon said. “If we do get enough rain in June, hopefully that will limit the risk of wildfires.”

Today, June 1, is the first day of meteorological summer.

For the three-months referred to as spring, from March through May, the entire region was quite a bit dryer than normal.

That ranged from 77% of normal in Penticton with 66 millimetres of rain over those three months to Kamloops being 42% of normal with 23 mm of rain. Kelowna recorded 45% of its normal rainfall at 33 mm while Vernon came in at 56% with 53 mm.

Part of the reason Penticton was so much damper is that it recorded 47.2 mm of rain in May, which is 120% of normal. The other cities were from 44% to 59% of normal in May.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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