Rainfall record set for South Okanagan

April showers bring May flowers, at least that is one good thing about the record rainfall in the South Okanagan.

“Yeah absolutely,” said Alyssa Charbonneau, Environment Canada meteorologist. “This is the sort of weather we usually expect going into spring, even June can be a showery month. I think we will be grateful when the sun comes out and hopefully that is this weekend, which will be a nice break for everyone.”

Since Wednesday, Osoyoos was the hardest hit with rainfall. Charbonneau said 24 mm soaked the usually arid region (14 mm today – April 13). That breaks the previous April 13 record for Osoyoos of 11.4 mm set in 1992. She said it will not surpass their extreme record of 24.6 mm of rainfall which occurred on April 30, 1987.

“While it is not unusual to have periods of heavy rain at this time of year, for the South Okanagan that is a significant amount of rainfall because it tends to be a lot drier,” said Charbonneau.

In Penticton, the past 24 hours saw 15 mm of rainfall which comes close to the record of 16 mm.

The City of Penticton has closed it sports fields for April 13 and 14 due to the excessive rain. Fields are not playable and closures are required to protect player safety and prevent excessive field damage. The fields are expected to re-open Saturday, April 15.

“The system is pushing its way out of the region, but there is still some possible isolated showers tonight and even a risk of a thunderstorm in the late afternoon or evening in the South Okanagan,” said Charbonneau. “Into the long weekend there will be some cloud around but we will see more sun than we have in the past few days. Friday and Saturday is a mix of sun and cloud. Sunday is looking to be a sunny day with a high of 15 C and Monday is a high of 16 C with a mix of sun and cloud.”

Charbonneau suggests those driving on the mountain passes on the long weekend should check the road report on DriveBC.com. She said at the highest elevations the rain is turning into snow, which was seen on the Coquihalla summit on Thursday morning.

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