This summer's weather in Kamloops and the Okanagan wasn't as extreme as expected - InfoNews

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This summer's weather in Kamloops and the Okanagan wasn't as extreme as expected

Channel floaters in Penticton earlier this month. A summer that was statistically warmer and drier than normal was nonetheless wetter and cooler than the previous two summers in the Thompson Okanagan and not quite what meteorologists were expecting.
August 30, 2019 - 6:00 PM

Remember way back in May, to the predictions of another hot and dry summer in the Kamloops and Okanagan regions, bringing with it the strong possibility of increased wildfire activity and excessive smoke, which had become routine over the past two summers?

Weather Network meteorologist Doug Gillham took a look at those predictions and compared them to summer weather data recently compiled. It turns out the predictions were, indeed, accurate but not quite as accurate as expected.

“We called for a warmer and drier than normal summer for southern British Columbia, including Kamloops and the Okanagan valley,” Gillham said today, Aug. 30. “We ran through the final numbers and temperatures have been warmer than normal and most of the recordings at the official stations were drier than normal, but overall, it wasn’t quite as warm or as dry as we were originally concerned it was going to be."

Gillham said early-season concerns revolved around the wildfire season because it started early and the forecast was calling for a hot, dry summer.

“While it has been warm and on the drier side of normal, there has been enough rain and temperatures haven’t been persistently hot, especially in July, so the wildfire season hasn’t been as bad as expected,” Gillham said.

The meteorologist said we aren’t out of the woods yet, as a warm and dry pattern is expected through September.

“August has been warmer and drier than normal, so people can’t let their guard down yet.”

Gillham said there were a lot of questions going into the summer how this year would compare with the last two, especially since wildfires are largely meteorological in nature, in they can be started by lightning and fueled by hot, dry conditions.

“The numbers show a warm, dry summer but the peak of summer wasn’t... it was actually below seasonal at that point. The season had no extremes in heat, and just enough showers to keep things moist,” Gillham said.

“Although there were many days that were a degree or two above normal, there were no extended periods in the upper 30s. We just didn’t get the run of hot, dry days that can be so problematic for wildfires.”


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