Warmer winter predicted for the Okanagan

Weak La Nina expected to keep temperatures warmer than originally predicted.

Okanagan residents who aren’t fans of frigid temperatures will likely be happy with Environment Canada’s updated winter forecast.

“We are looking at a warmer than normal winter,” said Ross MacDonald, meteorologist with the national weather agency.

The initial outlook for December, January and February was a lot colder.

Forecasters had said this year’s El Nino cleared the way for a La Nina, which was set to barge its way through, bringing with it colder than normal temperatures.

“As it turns out, the la Nina signal has really weakened off,” said MacDonald.

“So as it stands, we are expecting a 70 per cent chance of a La Nina, and if it happens it will be quite weak.”

Further warming up the skies is the sea.

“As we’ve been observing for the last couple of years sea surface temperatures off the west coast have been warmer than normal, and we’re seeing that continuing into this year as well,” said MacDonald.

All in all, the weather will be warmer in the Okanagan and most of B.C.

What that means for rain and snowfall, however, is anyone’s guess.

That, said MacDonald, is too hard to predict.