Okanagan Valley temperatures smash records for beginning of December

Valley temps hit 20 C

Victoria Femia

UPDATE: 1:44 p.m.

Temperatures in the Okanagan continue to rise as the day progresses, and a couple of cities have hit the 20-degree mark.

Kelowna and Vernon have so far reached a high of 17 C, while Salmon Arm hit 18 C.

The South Okanagan is where the hotspots are, with Penticton sitting at a balmy 22 C and Summerland at 20 C as of mid-afternoon.

Digital Meteorologist for The Weather Network Tyler Hamilton tweeted the temperatures are rare this time of year.

"Plus 20 C days are rare in December across Canada. The last reliable instance I could find was Dec. 6, 1998 in Windsor, Ont. (Riverside), reaching 21.0 C," Hamilton wrote.

ORIGINAL: 11 a.m.

Record-breaking temperatures were reached before breakfast in the Okanagan on the first day of December.

Environment Canada meteorologist Geof Coulson says Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton all broke weather records Wednesday, with temperatures reaching the mid-teens before many people were even out of bed.

"Temperatures, not just in Vernon, but right across the Okanagan, are well above normal for this time of year. Normal highs should be around the freezing mark in most areas,” says Coulson.

“Today, we’re seeing temperatures getting into the mid-teens and maybe by the end of the day, maybe getting into the high-teens in some areas. Very likely we’re going to see a number of records, daytime high records, falling.”

Vernon has already smashed the record for Dec. 1, hitting 16 C, breaking the record of 11.2 C set in 2012.

Kelowna broke its 2012 record of 13 C, by reaching 18 C this morning.

Penticton also reached 18 C, eclipsing its former record of 11.2 C.

Kamloops is not expected to break any records today, but is still much warmer than usual.

It's forecast to reach a high of 13 C. The record for this day is 16.1 C, set in 1949.

Coulson attributes the unusual temperatures to the storm system crossing the Coast.

“It’s all tied into the major storm system that has been affecting the Coast over the last couple of days, bringing with it some fairly strong westerly winds,” says Coulson.

“And those winds coming down the east side of the mountains, into the Okanagan are causing that warming.”

The warm temperatures are not expected to last.

“We’re going to start to see some colder air filtering in for Thursday – temperatures still going to be above normal in many places in the Okanagan,” says Coulson.

“By the time we get to the end of the work week and head into the weekend, we do expect to be back to more seasonal temperatures.”

Temperatures of between 8 and 11 C are forecast across the region tomorrow.

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