Last blast of summer before autumn sets in

A meteorologist with Environment Canada, described current conditions as a “last gasp at summer.”

Autumn arrived on schedule, prompting Kelowna families to pull out their cozy clothes this week to deal with overnight temperatures as low as zero C.

While some may lament the beginning of sweater season, others are relishing the opportunity to do some festive activities, which was noticeable at McMillan farms last weekend.

The East Kelowna farm is in its 11th year of business, officially opening for the season.

The agri-tourism stop has become increasingly popular for its hayrides, corn mazes and pumpkin picking opportunities.

“It was pretty busy this weekend,” said Colleen McMillan on Tuesday, noting they always open the last week of September.

“It will get a lot busier, though.”

At peak season, they have two tractors doing hayrides, going 15 to 20 minutes apart.

And, while they don’t have a ticker counting how many people trundle into the farm and hop in for a hayride or meander around a corn maze, McMillan said that they grew 10,000 pumpkins last year, and when the season was done, they had sold out completely.

Farming is still the heart of the business, she said, noting this year they grew a good crop, and that the warm weather had caused complications for Vancouver area pumpkin farmers.

Warnings have been issued to area residents that if they don’t get their pumpkins early, they may not get one at all as they ripened earlier than usual, and there has been more waste than in previous years.

While the local pumpkin patches aren’t reporting the same strain, weather locally has also been warmer than usual.

While Monday saw temperatures of around 0 C set in, the rest of the week is looking almost balmy in comparison to autumns past.

Lisa Coldwells, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, described the current conditions as a “last gasp at summer.”

“It’s beautiful across all the southern B.C.,” she said.

It’s due to the upper ridge of pressure that offered up that hot and dry summer, she said.

It moved on to the prairies for the month of September, but Coldwells said it has returned.

“The upper ridge has come back to B.C., and is sitting over the southern part of the province for the next little while,” she said. “It’s deflecting storms to the northwest—so places like the Haida Gwaii and Alaska Panhandle are getting rainstorms.”

The ridge is expected to start to collapse on Friday, making way for some clouds and showers, but then it will clear up again and more sunny weather will persist throughout next week.


Forecast this week

Wed., Sept. 30

Sunny. High 23.


Clear. Low plus 4.

Thurs., Oct. 1

Sunny. High 21.


Clear. Low plus 5.

Fri., Oct. 2

Periods of rain.

High 18.


Rain. Low 10.

Sat., Oct. 3

Periods of rain.

High 15.


Clear. Low 6.

Sun., Oct. 4

Sunny. High 17.


Clear. Low plus 5.

Mon., Oct. 5

Sunny. High 18.