Weather records fall in Penticton

The weather outside should be frightful at this time of year but it’s down right balmy.

Nolan Walton stretches to reach this shot during his tennis match with friend Larry McAdam at the Skaha Lake park courts Feb. 10 as temperatures reached near double digits. The mercury touched the 13-C mark the day before setting a new record for that day. Spring-like conditions are forecast for the next several days.

Nolan Walton stretches to reach this shot during his tennis match with friend Larry McAdam at the Skaha Lake park courts Feb. 10 as temperatures reached near double digits. The mercury touched the 13-C mark the day before setting a new record for that day. Spring-like conditions are forecast for the next several days.

The weather outside should be frightful at this time of year, but it’s down right balmy.

Waterfront walkways at both Okanagan and Skaha lakes have been running at near capacity recently and the Feb. 8 high of 13 C shattered the previous high for that date of 11.1 C set in 1945.

The average for this time of year is 2 C.

“That’s an incredible 11 degrees above normal,” said meteorologist Matt MacDonald of Environment Canada. “It’s that pineapple express that we saw move in the latter half of last week which opened the door to this feed of subtropical air. That southwest circulation has been with us for the last few days and will remain so throughout the rest of the week.”

The pineapple express is described as a weather phenomenon characterized by a steady flow of moisture often associated with heavy precipitation from the waters around Hawaii.

Although he doesn’t correlate the current weather directly to climate change, MacDonald added the waters of the Pacific Ocean are one to two degrees warmer this winter, adding to the overall impact.

“This is very similar to the pattern we saw last winter,” he said. “In the west we’re seeing the mild ridge of high pressure while the eastern half of country is seeing the counterpart which is a big trough of low pressure.”

MacDonald added the differing weather conditions may explain why the two most famous groundhogs’ recent predictions we’re so conflicting.

“I think one of them was representative of the eastern half of the country and the other one was facing west looking at our side,” he said with a laugh

Temperatures are expected to drop next week to seasonal norms with the possibility of much-need snow for the ski hills.

 

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