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T-shirts and turkeys: Sunny skies for Thanksgiving weekend in Okanagan, Shuswap

Like most of the province, temperatures are forecasted to hit above 20 C
Vernon on Oct. 9, 2022, during a record-breaking day for heat in the city during the month. Communities in the Okanagan can expect a warmer-than-normal Thanksgiving in 2023, but not record-breaking. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Environment Canada says communities in the Okanagan will enjoy above-seasonal temperatures on Thanksgiving weekend for the second year in a row.

Expect blue skies and sunshine, at least for most of the long weekend, as Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon and Salmon Arm join most of the province in experiencing daytime highs of more than 20 C.

“It’s looking like we’re going to see a stretch of some pretty warm conditions,” said Alyssa Charbonneau, a meteorologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada.

“We are forecasting that ridge of high pressure over southern B.C. It will cool off overnight but those daytime highs will be above normal for this time of year.”

Normal daytime temperatures in the Okanagan for early October are in the mid-teens, the federal forecaster says.

All four cities are expected to see daytime highs of 20 to 22 C, from Friday to Sunday, Oct. 8.

Charbonneau says those temperatures are similar to the ones recorded in the Okanagan during last October, with the region experiencing both drier-than-normal conditions and temperatures between 22 and 25 C.

Meteorologists even referred to last year’s Thanksgiving forecast as one that resembled Labour Day.

Don’t expect a summerlike swing this weekend, though, as October’s midway point nears.

“I don’t see the Okanagan breaking any maximum temperature records for this time of year,” Charbonneau explained. “If you think back to last year, October was this continuation of extremely dry and high temperatures. This year, we’re in a different pattern where we’ve already seen some cooler systems and a little bit of rain.”

After a drier-than-normal September — a month where Kelowna and Penticton both experienced less than 50 per cent of their seasonal precipitation marks — Environment Canada says the region could see showers as early as Monday, Oct. 9.

Precipitation is also in the forecast for Tuesday, Oct. 10, across both the Okanagan and Shuswap.

Charbonneau says Vernon served as an Okanagan outlier during September, with the community experiencing 98 per cent of its precipitation normals.

Temperatures, meanwhile, are expected to return closer to normal region-wide by the middle of next week, Environment Canada added.

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