Yes, that was lightning in the Okanagan last night - InfoNews

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Yes, that was lightning in the Okanagan last night

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
January 30, 2018 - 10:55 AM

OKANAGAN - A pretty special combination of weather is required to create lightning in the wintertime, and the Okanagan got that weather yesterday.

Environment Canada meteorologist Cindy Yu says there was a lightning strike recorded in the Okanagan Monday night around 9 p.m., something that doesn’t happen all that often.

She says the weather conditions had to be just right to produce lightning — and it all started somewhere in the tropics.

A low pressure system over the weekend brought warm, tropical moisture across B.C. creating major flooding on Vancouver Island. Meteorologists call this type of system an “atmospheric river” (others call it a Pineapple Express).

That warm, moist, tropical storm then rolled across the Southern Interior, making for mild weather and daytime highs of 4 to 5 C. A cooler air mass followed on Monday night, creating a contrast in temperature and the right conditions for lightning, Yu says.

“(Winter lightning) doesn’t happen often, but it does happen from time to time if there’s a contrast in the air mass below and above,” Yu says. “It happens more in the summer because the land heats up. In the winter, because it’s cooler, we don’t get it as much.”

Lightning strikes were also recorded Monday night east of Williams Lake and near 100 Mile House. 

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