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Sizzling start to July weather

A distinctive change in weather the last day of June led the way for temperatures that could reach red-hot this week.

A ridge of high pressure from the south should build sunny, dry and warmer than normal conditions across the majority of the region, according to a local forecaster.

“There’s a chance to actually see it warm to 34 degrees by Tuesday,” Ron Lakeman told the Trail Times from his Castlegar weather office. “But I like to reserve the word ‘hot’ for anything over 34 C.

“And there is potential for ‘hot’ by Wednesday.”

With the rise in temperatures over the weekend, the Southeast Fire Centre raised the fire danger warning from low to moderate throughout Greater Trail.

That means forest fuels are drying and there is an increased risk of surface fires, so the centre’s fire information officer asks anyone carrying out forest activities, to exercise caution.

“We want people to take the proper steps when having camp fires,” said Jordan Turner. “Have water on hand to put out fires when they’re done and have necessary hand tools on hand to control the fires.”

Warm or hot, a drier July is expected to follow what was a wetter than normal June.

For a fifth year in a row, the first month of summer was doused with more rain than what is considered a forecast normal.

Normal June rainfall is 72.3 mm, but since 2009 that number has been exceeded every June including this year when 98 mm of rain drenched the area.

So, when is a “normal” measurement no longer considered “normal” by meteorologists?

According to Lakeman, weather “normals” are updated every 10 years and are considered an ongoing average.

“If we look at the normals prior to 2010 when the system was last updated, the normal June rainfall was 65.7 mm,” he explained. “The normal has been adjusted upwards as a result of some of our wetter years,” he said. “The streak continues.”

The initial 12 days of the month were actually dry and relatively warm as weak disturbances clipped north of the area, noted Lakeman.

Two major downpours happened during the second half of the month when almost 50 millimetres (mm) of rain fell over three days beginning the evening of June 12.

Next, a series of small disturbances pushed northeast from the state of Washington brought bands of intense thundershowers on June 27 and June 28, adding about 34 mm to the month’s total precipitation.

The coolest day was June 6, when the temperature dipped to 3.8 C, but didn’t near the record low of 1.36 C, recorded in 2008.

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