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Rain, at last: Okanagan-Shuswap get sweet relief, dry conditions coming back

As wildfires rage across region, Kelowna sees rainfall for the first time since July

Relief in the form of rain hit the Okanagan and Shuswap on Tuesday night, Aug. 22, particularly in the Kelowna area, where precipitation was experienced for the first time in almost a month.

Environment Canada says between six and eight millimetres of precipitation fell in the city, marking its first official rainfall since July 25.

The community joined Salmon Arm, West Kelowna, Lake Country, Penticton, Fintry, Osoyoos and Summerland as federal weather stations in the region to see more than at least three millimetres of precipitation on Aug. 22.

Vernon only saw “traces” of rain, recording a total mark Tuesday of .2 millimetres.

“After a relatively dry period in the region, it’s always nice to get some rainfall, however, it wasn’t very much and there isn’t any rain in the forecast again for at least the next week,” said Shayne Keetley, a meteorologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Temperatures took a dive to seasonal marks this week after much of the region experienced temperatures above 35 C from Aug. 14 to 17.

Chances of showers are forecasted in the Okanagan and Shuswap for Wednesday, Aug. 23, but the familiar August dry spell is expected to return and stick around until at least the middle of next week.

“There is an indication that there may be a system coming through that would bring some widespread rain over,” Keetley added.

While Kelowna had not seen precipitation since the end of July, weather stations in Penticton and Vernon had combined for less than five millimetres of rain for both July and August before Tuesday’s event.

Environment Canada says Penticton experienced six millimetres of rain between midnight and 4 a.m.

Salmon Arm, meanwhile, whose 12 millimetres of rain led the pack of aforementioned communities on Tuesday, has seen a total of 22 millimetres of precipitation since the beginning of July, according to the federal forecaster.

A special air quality statement — amid the slew of wildfires that continue to burn across the Okanagan and Shuswap — remains in effect for the region.

Along with a chance of rain Wednesday, there is also a risk of thunderstorms.

Within the Kamloops Fire Centre, which includes the Okanagan and Shuswap, there are currently 48 active blazes.

READ MORE: Air Quality Statement remains in effect as blue skies return to the Okanagan

READ MORE: 90 properties damaged by wildfire in North Westside


About the Author: Logan Lockhart

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