Lightning in the forecast

The streak of hot weather we've had in the Okanagan has made for some balmy spring days, but so far no records have fallen.

Today is expected to be the hottest day this week, and brings with it the chance of thunderstorms and lightning, both this evening and Thursday.

Environment Canada meteorologist Louis Kohanyi says temperatures have been running close to 30 C this week, and today is expected to get up to 31 C in Kelowna and Vernon, 32 C in Penticton.

While those numbers are high, they are still short of the record for June 12, which is 33.9 degrees.

The real story, according to Kohanyi, is the possibility of lightning and thunderstorms. "So, for today there is a risk of thunderstorms, and there could be lightning, absolutely."

Not good news on the wildfire front as conditions in B.C. are tinder dry. The drought rating has already been raised to Level 2 in the Okanagan.

Corinne Jackson of the Okanagan Basin Water Board says the precautionary measure is based on low snowpack, early snowmelt and forecasts calling for for a hot, dry summer.

Residents are encouraged to use water wisely and have local drought management plans ready to activate, if needed.

Starting at noon Wednesday, Category 2 and 3 open fires have been restricted throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires.

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