Weather records fall as Okanagan enjoys unseasonal warmth

Penticton smashed 69-year-old record Monday as temperature hits 15.1 C

Just as the town slogan suggests, Osoyoos quite literally had Canada’s warmest welcome on Monday.

While Old Crow Airport in Yellowknife dipped to spine-shivering -47.3 C, Osoyoos was sitting at 16.1 C getting the title from Environment Canada as the hottest spot in the country.

“We are actually in an upper ridge setting up. This year we have been staying in a block pattern and it takes a long time for these patterns to move or change,” said Cindy Yu, Environment Canada meteorologist.

“This ridge has stayed over the Pacific and that warm air is accumulating over the ocean and shifting east wards. That mixing with the air above has warmed up a lot of the valleys.”

With very little snow in the valley and the warm air breezing in off the Pacific into the Southern Interior, the slightly warmer temperatures are expected to linger for a few days.

Penticton broke a 69-year-old record high when the city reached 15.1 C on Monday, the previous record being 11.7 C in 1945. On the other end of the spectrum, the record low for that day was set in 1950 at chilly -24.4 C.

“A pretty warm day for sure,” said Yu. “A lot of that cold air we are supposed to get in the winter has been moving east across the Prairies into eastern Canada.

“The ridge is going to stay for a bit and we are looking at staying in the high single digits until at least Thursday.”

The rest of the week will be a mix of sun and cloud with temperatures hovering around the 4 C mark. Heading into the weekend Environment Canada shows cloudy weather with highs ranging from 1 to 4 C.

“I don’t know if you really need your long johns but it won’t be quite T-shirt weather either this week,” said Yu.