Colder, wetter February

It was an unusual February in the South Okanagan thanks to warm and cold weather systems meeting up in the area.

The average temperature for the month in Penticton is 1 C, but this year saw an average of -1.5 C according to the Meteorological Service of Canada. There was also one record-breaking day on Feb. 20, when the mercury hit -18.6 C — the coldest it had been on that date since 1986.

It was also wetter than average, with 32 millimetres of precipitation, in the form of both rain and snow. That's around 60 per cent more than the average 20 millimetres February usually sees.

According to meteorologist Doug Lundquist, the South Okanagan in general got very cold and wet this month, with precipitation increasing and temperature decreasing northward. 

"The interesting thing is just south of the line in Washington it was much warmer, with some places seeing above average temperatures, and by the time you got up to the central Interior it was really cold," Lundquist said.

"The collision between this warm and cold air came from right about the U.S. border up through to Prince George and gave us a lot of precipitation as a result."

Lundquist said that although it was a particularly wintry month for Penticton, it got worse even as close as Kelowna.

"Even just that 50 kilometres as the crow flies or less, and it was snowier in parts of Kelowna," Lundquist said. "Penticton squeaked by with the lesser impact of the weather."

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