Much-needed rain drenches Okanagan

Click to play video: 'B.C. evening weather forecast: May 21'
B.C. evening weather forecast: May 21
Senior meteorologist Kristi Gordon has your Tuesday, May 21, 2024, forecast for Metro Vancouver and British Columbia – May 21, 2024

With many regions across B.C. listed as having drought conditions, including the Okanagan, this week’s wet weather forecast is being welcomed with open arms.

However, the rain that soaked the Southern Interior in the past 24 hours proved surprising, with Kelowna seeing 13mm as of noon on Wednesday.

That’s the most moisture the Central Okanagan has seen in a single day in the past year and a half.

Click to play video: 'Windstorm causes damage, knocks power out across Lower Mainland'
Windstorm causes damage, knocks power out across Lower Mainland

“The amount of water available in the snowpack in the Okanagan is at historic lows as of May 1,” said Global News meteorologist Peter Quinlan, noting the levels are around 60 per cent of normal.

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“We’ve seen much faster snowmelt than we have seen in a very long time and we’re already starting with a lower-than-normal snowpack.”

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With wildfire season nearing, the rain is much needed given the low snowpack levels.

In fact, the Okanagan Basin Water Board suggested last week that Level 2 drought conditions (very dry) will continue unless the region sees significant rainfall.

The forecast for Thursday will see continuing cloudy skies and a 30 to 40 per cent chance of showers, along with a high of 20 C and a low of 9 C.

For Friday and Saturday, it’ll be more cloudy skies and a 30 to 40 per cent chance of showers, with Sunday and Monday seeing clouds before sunshine appears Tuesday.

Elsewhere in the province, the South Coast was soaked on Tuesday.

According to Environment Canada, West Vancouver received 52 mm as of Wednesday at 5 a.m., with Maple Ridge seeing 55 mm.

The region also saw heavy winds, with gusts between 50 and 90 km/h.

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