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‘Much-needed’: Okanagan sees significant rainfall over 3-day stretch

Some cities record more than 24 millimetres of precipitation
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Environment Canada says the Okanagan experienced “significant” rainfall from May 21 to 23. (Black Press - file photo)

As the Okanagan continues to grapple with a multi-year dry spell, Environment Canada says parts of the region experienced significant rainfall this week.

While Vernon and Osoyoos saw 14.1 and 16.1 millimetres of rain, respectively, stations in Penticton, Summerland and Kelowna experienced at least 24 millimetres of precipitation from May 21 to 23.

Summerland led the region by recording 33.2 millimetres of rain over the three-day stretch, according to Environment Canada meteorologist Brian Proctor.

The majority of rainfall across the region came on May 22, he added.

“It’s significant precipitation for a number of those stations and much-needed precipitation,” Proctor said, adding that B.C. Interior has seen a “long-term period of moisture deficit.”

As B.C.’s drought persists into late May, the meteorologist says this week’s rainfall will help ease concerns over wildfires and agriculture.

“These spring showers we’ve been seeing in May are really significant in alleviating the short-term concerns associated with drought conditions, but it doesn’t do much to alleviate those long-term concerns,” Proctor said.

“What we really need is a long period of slow, steady rain that will help us deal with things moving forward.”

Proctor says the region will return to its “warmer and drier-than-normal” by the start of next week.

Those patterns, he added, have been considered normal in the Okanagan for close to 25 years.

“From 2001 and on, we’ve been really locked into these dry patterns.”

The region’s most recent drought conditions have persisted through the winter, according to the Okanagan Basin Water Board. They say the region would need a long and significant period of rainfall to keep those conditions from continuing into the summer.

A chance of showers is in the forecast for the Okanagan this weekend, from May 24 to 26.

Temperatures could reach highs of 22 C by Monday, May 27, with a mix of sun and cloud expected to persist for much of next week.

READ MORE: Here’s what’s happening this weekend in Penticton



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