Wet and cold July actually drier than normal: meteorologist - InfoNews

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Wet and cold July actually drier than normal: meteorologist

The rain falls hard on Okanagan Lake, July 17.
July 18, 2019 - 6:30 AM

We just can't seem to catch a break — the past two years, we've had record-changing forest fire seasons choking us with smoke in Kamloops and the Okanagan, which also dealt with flooding on Okanagan Lake. 

This year, the complaints have turned to rain. It's been a wet and weary July with plenty of rain and clouds, and far fewer scorching hot days — or has it? Weather statistics suggest otherwise.

Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Bobby Sekhon said contrary to what people across the region may be feeling, from Kamloops to Penticton, this July has so far been drier than normal.

While Kelowna has seen 90 per cent of its regular amount of rainfall so far this month, Kamloops has only seen 60 per cent of what the city would historically see between July 1 and July 16.

Vernon and Penticton sit somewhere in between, with Vernon receiving 76 per cent and Penticton 72 per cent of the amount of precipitation they'd normally see in the first two weeks of July.

Sekhon does offer an explanation as to why most people think the start of the official summer has been greyer and wetter than normal - the past four months have been very dry.

June is typically the wettest month of the year, but this year we got very little, so we're now seeing that weather pattern shift a few weeks later than normal, he said. Sekhon also said the region hasn't seen this much rainfall since 2014 as the last four years have been much drier than normal.

Regardless of what the statistics say, Ed's Mobile Kayak Rental owner Ed Sartison said the weather is definitely having an effect on business.

"It is a difficult year this year, there's a lot of rain and cold weather days," Sartison said.

Sartison is in his third year of operations and grown in big leaps each year, and he's still busier than he was last year, but can only imagine what this season would be like with more sun.

However, the perceived wetter weather isn't bad for all businesses.

The Flower Spot garden centre manager Brandon Jeppesen said the wet weather actually seemed to be giving them a bit of an edge.

"Normally it's so hot people have a hard time going out in their gardens, but this year it's so cool people don't mind coming into the greenhouse, it's not 40 degrees in here," he said. "It's nice to be outside working after a little bit of rain... it's extending the spring a little bit rather than going right into the summer."

While the numbers may show its been drier than normal, those thinking its definitely been colder than a regular July are correct.

Environment Canada figures show temperatures around one degree cooler in Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton compared to normal. Temperatures are normally in the 21 C range and this year, it's closer to 20 C. Only Kelowna was above average the climatological normal temperature of 19.5 celsius at 20.6 celsius, but as Kelowna has several weather stations this statistic has to be taken with a "grain of salt", Sekhon said.

The meteorologist said while the region may have seen rain recently, precipitation amounts are well below what they should be.

For those hoping for hotter weather, Sekhon says things should warm up this weekend and hover above 30 C by early next week.


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