Weather relief here for fall

Colton Davies

It appears that the extreme weather that has cursed the Okanagan Valley for months is in the past, just in time for the fall equinox. 

Following high water levels in Okanagan Lake for over two months, and an 11-week provincial state of emergency due to forest fires, normalcy appears to have returned to the region.

Environment Canada said it's going to warm up across the entire valley into next week.

"That ridge of high pressure that we had over us all summer is going to try and build back for a little bit, and give us a little taste of a cooler, summery-type feeling, with highs getting into the low and perhaps the mid-20’s in the middle of next week," meteorologist Doug Lundquist said.

Lundquist said the high ridge of pressure will likely break down within eight to 10 days, but a warmer-than-normal fall is still expected. 

He said this is because of warmer-than average ocean temperatures on B.C.'s coast, hundreds of kilometres away.

"Warmer ocean waters equals warmer air," he said. "Plus it’s been warm for so long. Weather has a bit of a memory. The ground is warm, the lakes and waters are warm."

Lundquist added that the amount of heat and smoke, and the lack of rain has been unprecedented. 

"Every big station we looked at in the southern Interior has broken the record for driest ever summer," he said.

"It was a very impactful summer unfortunately, and not in positive ways."

The Okanagan reached a drought level three, while parts of the Similkameen hit a drought level four. 

Kelowna tied a record for going 44 days without any measurable rain, while Penticton went a record 71 days with no rain. 

Lundquist said that a cold front has brought cleaner air, but that watersheds may need months to recover, as the spring and the fall seasons are typically the driest in the Okanagan.

But he agreed the pleasant weather expected is welcoming for residents.

"I think we were all deprived here... I would really try to take advantage of every sunny day now."

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