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Okanagan breathes a little easier

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The smoky haze from wildfires across B.C. has slightly lifted from the valley.

The current Air Quality Health Index rating from Lumby to Peachland and onward through the South Okanagan is measured at a four, which is considered only a moderate health risk. Even Kamloops is experiencing better conditions, with a four rating. There was a high health risk warning every day in the week that passed, with Kamloops sometimes getting a rating that exceeded the scale.

Clearer air is not forecast to stay long, however, as the evening Air Quality Health Index rating is expected to rise again to a seven. That is a high risk for babies, the elderly and those who have health complications. Those of average health are reccommended to not exert themselves.

The weather forecast could help. It is calling for a risk of thunderstorms Saturday afternoon with a chance of showers. A cold front is also possibly moving into the region, with temperatures dipping down to the low 20s C on Sunday.

Environment Canada believes the month of August will be below normal for the amount of precipitation to fall during the month.

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The start of next week is forecast to be cloudy with periods of showers and highs between 23 and 25 C.

This change in the weather pattern could help push some of the smoke out of the valley.

"It will be tough to determine if the smoke will actually move out of the valley during this cold front," said Environment Canada meteorologist Cindy Yu. "But, the forecasted winds from the south could make for some improvement in visibility.

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