Drought conditions persist in the Thompson-Okanagan

Drought conditions persist

Drought conditions persist in the Thompson-Okanagan despite some rainfall last month, according to Agriculture Canada.

The federal government’s most-recent drought monitor report says “ample” precipitation in the month of September was not enough to compensate for the precipitation deficits from earlier in the growing season.

Exceptional drought (D4), the federal government’s highest rating, remains in place throughout the Okanagan Valley. Extreme drought (D3) conditions are in place in the Kamloops area, Boundary and Oliver/Osoyoos.

Parts of the Thompson-Okanagan were the only some of the only areas in B.C. that received lower than normal rainfall in September, between 60-75%.

“As a result, Extreme Drought (D3) and Exceptional Drought (D4) conditions expanded slightly from the previous assessment,” Agriculture Canada said.

“Across southern British Columbia above normal September precipitation allowed for slight drought improvement including the reduction of Exceptional Drought (D4) in the southern Okanagan and southcentral areas.”

The provincial government, which tracks drought conditions separately from the feds, say droughts have eased somewhat in the first week of October.

B.C. uses a scale of 0 to 5 to rank drought and the Salmon River basin remains classified at 5, which means “adverse impacts are almost certain.”

The Thompson, Okanagan, Nicola and Similkameen river basins are all still under a level 3 drought, meaning adverse impacts are “possible.”

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