Downtown Penticton seen from atop a mountain outside town. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)

Downtown Penticton seen from atop a mountain outside town. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)

‘Below-seasonal temperatures’ result in historic lack of precipitation in the Okanagan

Environment Canada says Kelowna experienced its fourth-driest April ever in 2022

In a month often known for unpredictable weather changes, the Okanagan instead experienced consistent dryness all April long.

A slightly “cooler than usual” start to spring, according to Environment Canada, has done more than leave people wondering when the weather will take a summer-like turn — it’s resulted in a significant lack of precipitation compared to previous months of April.

Penticton and Vernon both saw between a 20 and 40 per cent decrease in precipitation last month, with Kelowna experiencing its fourth driest April ever.

“We usually have this dry, arctic air coming down when it’s colder, which means we may not get that much precipitation that falls,” said Derek Lee, a meteorologist with Environment Climate Change Canada.

On average, Penticton, Vernon and Kelowna combine for 27.6 millimetres of precipitation every April. In 2022, however, the three cities combined to average just 9.4 millimetres.

READ ALSO: Snowpack well below normal levels

Penticton’s significant decrease in precipitation, specifically, was attributed to “below-season temperatures,” resulting in the fourth coldest April in the city’s history.

Temperatures in Penticton during April average at 9 C. In 2022, it was 6.8 C.

“Penticton is further south so we always expect it to be warmer, so to have it more than two degrees colder (on average), that is very significant,” Lee said.

Kelowna and Vernon, meanwhile, experienced cooler temperatures by margins of 1.3 C and 1.7, respectively.

“Province-wide, it was a cooler than usual April for everyone,” Lee said.

Environment Canada is expecting temperatures in the Okanagan to be “seasonal” next week, with Lee adding that people should expect to see the sun out on a regular basis as mid-May approaches.

“There will be a difference in the weather next week, as in the sun will be back,” he said.

“Things will start getting a little bit warmer but there are still some disagreements in the model. I would say that even then, the chance of precipitation falling is even less than before.”

READ MORE: ‘Instability’ and ‘unpredictability’ cause Okanagan temperatures to drop this weekend


@lgllockhart
logan.lockhart@pentictonwesternnews.com

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