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New records set for high temperatures

High temperatures this week have set new records for warm spring weather.

Not surprisingly, a number of new records for high temperatures have been set in the past few weeks, including two this week.

Easter Monday, a high temperature of 12.7 C measured at the Kelowna Airport, edged out the previous high set on April 1, 2010 of 12.6 C and Tuesday, a high of 13.5 C beat out the previous high for that date of 12.7 C set in 2005.

The other record broken was on March 15, when a temperature of 16.4 C topped the previous high for that date of 14.8 C set in 1992.

Meteorologist Doug Lundquist from the Environment Canada weather services office in Kelowna said overall though, the temperatures for March were just slightly above normal, at an average high temperature of 10.7 C compared to the normal of 9.6 C.

The average low was also slightly higher, at -1.1 C compared to the normal of -2.4 C.

The mean temperature for the month was a bit above normal too, at 4.8 C, compared to the normal of 3.6 C.

Higher temperatures in the latter part of the month skewed the low temperatures from earlier in March, he said.

Precipitation was also around normal, with 20 millimetres, compared to the normal of 22 mm, but the amount of snow that made up that total was double the normal amount, at 10 centimetres instead of five.

That accumulated in two snowfalls on March 6th and 12th.

Due to the record high temperatures this week, some tree fruit blossoms have begun to swell and prepare to open, so orchardists are concerned there not be a hard freeze, which could limit the coming season’s crop of fruit.

Lundquist forecasts a pattern of unsettled weather in the next week or so, but not a particularly frosty pattern, particularly not a high likelihood of a hard frost.

Beyond that, he says the long term forecast is for a warmer trend.

Over the past winter, the summer of dry weather didn’t break until Oct. 12, when heavy rains began, noted Lundquist, with more than double the normal precipitation in October in total.

Then in November and December it was just slightly drier than normal, while January was slightly wetter.

In February, however, there was only two cm of snow, compared to the normal of 16 cm.



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