By JOE FRIES
Today’s partly cloudy forecast notwithstanding, the months ahead are expected to be hotter and drier than normal.
“I do think it is going to be a marked change, a bit of a transition as we go from what was an exceptionally wet spring season – especially when you add on the above-normal snowpack and all the flood concerns of the last month or so – to more of a drought threat, unfortunately,” Weather Network meteorologist Michael Carter said Tuesday.
“We have dry conditions setting up for a lot of the Southern Interior, and heat is definitely going to be building in this summer. So I think the overall story for the next three months is going to be hot and dry, and keeping a very close eye on both developing drought and developing wildfire conditions across the Interior of B.C.”
Mr. Carter was reluctant to predict how many degrees above normal temperatures can be expected to reach, but said “extended periods” of unusually hot weather are likely on tap.
Weather Network forecasters base their predictions on computer models, historical data and cyclical patterns that are currently suggesting an El Nino effect is setting up.
“If it does, that will have impacts on the second half of 2018 – including the second half of the summer – and that could be helping to drive our hotter-than-normal pattern for the summer,” explained Mr. Carter.
And the abnormally hot spring that created flood threats is now contributing to the drought threat, according to the head of the B.C. River Forecast Centre.
“When we shift the snowmelt earlier in the season – even for areas where we have very high snowpack – we can rapidly shift from above-normal streamflow to below normal, so that is definitely a concern,” Dave Campbell said Monday.
“Obviously as we come into the summer, the weather continues to be critical for any kind of drought situations,” he continued, adding though that the outlook remains “uncertain” at this point.
Joe Fries writes and edits for the Penticton Herald. OsoyoosToday and the Herald share an informal editorial use agreement.