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Brrrr: A frigid start to December in Okanagan

Daytime highs of -7 C and this Arctic weather isn’t done yet
Icicles form on a sign on Skaha Lake in Penticton this week with daytime highs sitting at -5 to -8 C. (Connie McNickle White photo)

Snowfall, fast-moving winds and below-zero temperatures have made Penticton anything but the warmest spot in Canada to start December.

One year ago, though, that’s exactly what it was.

The city experienced temperatures higher than 22 C in December 2021, setting nationwide records for the warmest Dec. 1 day ever.

Steady daytime temperatures of between -5 and -10, have made last year’s heat spell a distant memory.

Environment Canada says below-zero temperatures in the Peach City are here to stay, according to its latest 10-day projections.

Cloudy skies and a chance of flurries between 30 and 70 per cent remain in the cards most days until next week.

Some relief may be on the way, though, according to Environment Canada’s Trevor Smith. The meteorologist spoke with the Western News in the aftermath of December’s frigid start and said that Penticton is likely to move closer to its early-winter averages as the new year approaches. Okanagan-wide, temperatures range from -4 to 1 C during the year’s final month.

Weather models from the federal department indicate Penticton has yet to get its expected “warm flow from the Pacific.” Environment Canada says the city has instead experienced the arctic flow, a system responsible for last year’s cold snap in late December and early January.

From Wednesday, Dec. 7, until next Monday, Dec. 12, daytime highs in Penticton will top out at -2 C. Those projections don’t, however, factor in the wind chill.

At night, people in the city and its surrounding areas are in for consistently brisk conditions. Temperatures for the next six nights will be as low as -11 C.

READ MORE: Break out the touques and mittens: Frigid late fall, more to come in December

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About the Author: Logan Lockhart

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