Adams Road near Reid’s corner in Kelowna, completely underwater, May 6, 2017. (File)

Okanagan faces increased temperatures, flooding: climate projections report

Report suggests more fires, water shortages, smoke days, spring flooding

A climate projection report is anticipating significant changes to Okanagan weather conditions over the next few decades.

The report, compiled by the regional districts of the North Okanagan, Central Okanagan and Okanagan-Similkameen in partnership with Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium and Pinna Sustainability, outlines climate projections for 2050 and 2080 to assist regional planners to prepare for future climate events.

“There is a need to plan for more intense and hotter fires, increasing water shortages, more smoke days, and a greater likelihood of spring flooding. These changes will have serious consequences on ecosystems, communities, and the economy,” reads part of the report.

Some of the key findings of the report are as follows:

  • Warmer temperatures year-round
  • Summers will be considerably hotter
  • Increased duration of growing season
  • Warmer winter temperatures
  • Increased precipitation across all seasons except summer
  • Summer is expected to remain the driest season, and become drier
  • Shifting seasons

Summers are projected to get hotter by the later part of the century, with the valley bottoms, where the majority of the population lives, seeing nearly triple the number of days with temperatures at or over 30 C.

Temperatures on the coldest nights are projected to rise in all seasons across the Okanagan. Winter nighttime low temperatures are projected to warm more than other seasons. By the 2050s, there will be 28 per cent fewer frost days.

Increased precipitation is also expected, specifically in autumn and spring. By 2080, the Okanagan could see 17 per cent more rainfall during these seasons.

“This report is one of the most important tools we have in preparing for our future as a region,” said Kevin Acton, chair of the Regional District of North Okanagan. “We need action now, and through this report, we have a clearer idea of what to expect and how to adapt for the longevity of our communities.”

“The modelling projections being completed by the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium will help local governments prepare for a range of possible scenarios,” said Karla Kozakevich, chair of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

“This report will also provide valuable data about the potential environmental and economic challenges impacting the Okanagan in the coming decades.”

Regional District Central Okanagan chair Gail Given, said the report show’s what many already know and it’s time to act.

“We’ve all seen the impact climate change is having on our environment and economy. The Climate Projections Report lays the groundwork for everyone to respond and act in a meaningful way to help mitigate the potential challenges in the years ahead.”

The full report can be accessed on the RDNO website.

READ MORE: Climate protesters stage peaceful protest during Kelowna council meeting

READ MORE: Okanagan faces high flood risk due to above average snowpack


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Climate change

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Community of Oliver salutes frontline medical staff

“Honk for the unsung heros. Thanks to each and every one of you”

Summerland’s April 1 snow measurements above normal

Measurements taken at Summerland Reservoir and Isintok Lake

Okanagan Skaha School Board does not anticipate closures

School district budget tight as a result of declining enrolment

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

YMCA Okanagan opens child care service to essential workers

Priority given to guardians in top three tiers of essential services as identified by the province

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

Okanagan College student designs map tracking spread of COVID-19 in B.C.

Sean Heddle says fighting complacency and misinformation is important

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Interior Health confirms five additional cases in West Kelowna COVID-19 outbreak

The total amount of confirmed cases at Bylands Nurseries Ltd. is 19; no further cases expected

COLUMN: Responding with the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy

Support available for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

EDITORIAL: Are you a virus jerk? Take our short quiz to find out

Are you a virus jerk? Take this short quiz to learn the… Continue reading

Most Read