Warmer than normal summer expected

The heat is expected to be turned up this summer.

Mother Nature is expected to deliver a sunny summer to Okanagan residents who are still wading through one of the soggier springs in recent history, says a meteorologist from the Weather Network.

“We are expecting temperatures to be above normal—not a scorcher like 2015 or 2016—but a little more warm,” said Erin Wenckstern, adding the warmer weather is attributed to the onset of an El Nino weather pattern arriving hot on the heels of last year’s Super El Nino.

All the anticipated warmth will mark a departure from spring. The daytime high temperature average from March to May is usually 15 C, and this year’s spring average was a couple degrees cooler.

There was also more rain and, in the higher elevations, snow, said Wenckstern.

“In Kelowna you see about 80 to 100 mm of rain, but for this year there was 120 mm of rain,” she said.

While the volume of water is currently causing trouble, the silver lining is that the drought issues from years past aren’t likely to return this summer.

“The moisture will still be in place, because we had so much activity winter and spring,” she said.

Wenckstern added that this year’s conditions aren’t necessarily indicative of a “new normal.”

“We had such a profound period of heat that it seemed like the new normal for B.C. was just dry and hot,” she said. “But obviously people get used to that.”

When it shifts, she said, the natural question is “what now?”

And that is something nobody can really say with precision.