Environment Canada says clear skies and seasonal temperatures will hit the Okanagan on Canada Day weekend, but an ongoing trend is expected to continue through the beginning of July.
Preliminary numbers suggest this month will go down as the driest June on record for Penticton, with the city seeing just five per cent of its normal precipitation levels, as of early Thursday morning.
June 2023 is on track to be the second driest in Kelowna on record and fifth driest in Vernon, according to Environment Canada.
Along with forecasted temperatures of 25 to 29 C in all three cities, experts say the “precipitation deficit” will continue through the long weekend.
“For precipitation, that’s when things start looking quite stark,” said Lisa Erven, a meteorologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada. “It’s been quite dry for this time of year.”
Penticton typically experiences around 46 millimetres of rain in June, Erven added. This year, just 2.3 millimetres of that has come down, as of June 27.
Kelowna and Vernon, meanwhile, have experienced just 11 and 18 per cent of their normal precipitation levels, respectively.
“While we’ve certainly had thunderstorms and showers in and around, not much [rain] has actually been reported in the valley bottom stations,” Erven said. “The drier-than-normal conditions are pretty widespread across the province.”
June, like May, has featured warmer-than-normal temperatures.
Environment Canada’s longer-term models for the Okanagan indicate July and August will also end with above-seasonal averages.
For Canada Day weekend, though, meteorologists say the region will experience a slight drop in temperature down to seasonal marks.
Although daytime temperatures in the trio of Okanagan cities have remained above 30 C for much of the last week, highs on July 2-3 are expected to reach 26 C.