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Warmest October ever in the Okanagan but temperatures now expected to drop: Expert

Average temperatures in Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon will drop below zero by Monday night, Nov. 7

Environment Canada says a sudden shift to cooler weather is on its way to the Okanagan, with Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton all expected to hit below-zero temperatures by next week.

A record-setting last 31 days in the region will soon be in the rearview mirror, according to meteorologists, who say it was the warmest October ever in both Vernon and Kelowna, and the second warmest in Penticton.

“Though it’s not unexpected this time of year to see that cool air coming in, next week will mark a pretty big departure from the reality we’ve been living with,” said Alyssa Charbonneau, a meteorologist at Environment Canada.

While Vernon and Kelowna shattered their own all-time temperature averages in October (12.1 C and 12 C, respectively), Penticton experienced its driest Halloween month ever.

But it’s snow, not rain, that is more likely to break the Penticton dry spell by the time mid-November comes around.

“There is a big cool down coming, and any form of precipitation that we do see could be in the form of snow,” Charbonneau said.

Flurries are in the forecast starting Thursday, but Charbonneau says atmospheric rivers from B.C.’s coast could bring some more unpredictability to the Okanagan on Friday.

By Monday, Nov. 7, daytime highs in the three aforementioned cities are expected to hit 1 C, with a 60 percent chance of flurries.

At night, temperatures across the region will dip to as low as -6 C.

“In the wake of, that’s when we’ll see a shift and that modified arctic air coming down,” she said. “It’s going to get cold and likely stay cold…it’s our first cold stretch of fall.”

Charbonneau describes next week’s forecast as “well-below seasonal,” after it’s been categorized as a warmer-than-normal first half of fall through much of the Interior.

“Our models are indicating a colder-than-normal November, certainty for the beginning and middle of it,” the meteorologist said.

For the middle of this week, residents of Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton could expect temperatures in the early-morning hours to drop below zero — a prelude to most of the daytime projections for all of the next week.

READ MORE: Atmospheric river from B.C.’s coast brings strong winds to the Interior


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