Meteorologist calls for dry lightning, high humidity keeping haze over valley

Dry lightning in forecast

The Thompson-Okanagan could be in for another light show tonight and possibly for the next few days.

"It's almost 100 per cent somewhere, we'll see it (lightning) in the region. We'll see the cloud and the thunderstorms over the high terrain," said Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist.

Lundquist tells Castanet there could also be wind gusts of up to 70 km/h in very localized areas.

“If there is wind, it would only be with the thunderstorms and we do forecast possible 70 km/h winds — but otherwise the wind pattern is very calm,” Lundquist says.

It is likely this system moving into the valley at the tail end of a two-day heat wave will bring dry lightning.

"This storm will be a lot less wet than the last time. We did have a lot of showers with that (system) last weekend. But this time, it's coming with more dry lightning.”

Lundquist noted the winds could help push some of the haze out of the area as well. The province has expanded a smoky skies bulletin to include the Shuswap, Southeast B.C. and 100 Mile House, but not yet the Thompson-Okanagan.

A smoky skies bulletin was issued Thursday morning for the southeast corner of the province, excluding the Okanagan.

Lundquist says part of the reason for the haze is hanging in the valley is related to the high humidity levels.

“For example, if the temperature cooled down to 18 C today we'd get fog. That's extremely humid. So very, very humid atmosphere, very subtropical-type dew point.”

Lundquist says the temperature of Okanagan Lake has been ranging between 25 and 30 C over the last week or two, “that's almost tropical temperature for water."

He expects the heat to continue, but doesn’t think Environment Canada will issue another heat warning.

“Compared to a normal summer, we're in a zone that I've never really seen at the end of summer," he said.

"The coldest day here coming up, we're forecasting Monday to be 28 C in Kelowna, for example, and that's still two degrees above average — so our coldest day isn’t even normal. It's just humid and muggy and warm this late in August, that’s not normal.”

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