Why Lytton is always so darn hot | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Why Lytton is always so darn hot

Image Credit: FACEBOOK/lytton.ca

Lytton is on a hot streak.

Not only does the village hold four of the top 15 highest temperature records in Canadian history, it continues to shatter records.

Lytton set the nation’s all-time heat record by reaching 49.6 C on June 29, 2021. The following day the community was evacuated because of a wildfire that went on to destroy over 90% of the village.

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Why does this small town continually defy all descriptions of a Canadian town?

There is no definitive answer but Ken Dosanjh, meteorologist with Environment Canada, has a few theories.

“First, Lytton is oriented in a narrow valley,” Dosanjh said. “Compared to the Okanagan it doesn’t really get the influence of a large body of water.”

That section of the Fraser Valley gets a significant amount of direct sunlight on both sides since it faces north-south, he added.

And as a relatively narrow valley, stronger winds are produced compared to larger valleys. The region can't cool down as as much overnight because those winds prevent the air from getting decoupled. So when the sunshine and solar radiation return in the morning, Dosanjh said temperatures in the valley already have a “leg up” over most parts of the province. 

But despite its scorching-hot summers, winter in Lytton is much like the rest of Canada. After breaking the national heat record in June 2021 at 49.6C, the village dropped down to -25.6C in December – that's a range of 76C. 

Environment Canada's records of temperatures in Lytton go as far back as 1921.

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