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Forecast calls for rain early next week, but thunderstorms over the weekend

The southeastern portion of the province’s forecast sees thunderstorm risk over the weekend, with temperatures then cooling off and rain predicted for Monday into Wednesday.
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Higher than normal temperatures increased fire behaviour in some areas of the Southeast Fire Centre. This weekend’s forecast calls for thunderstorms, before potentially substantial rainfall from Monday to Wednesday. Photo courtesy of BC Wildfire Service.

The southeastern portion of the province’s forecast sees thunderstorm risk over the weekend, with temperatures then cooling off and rain predicted for Monday into Wednesday.

While the latter is certainly a welcomed prospect given the number of wildfires in the region, the former is concerning for the same reason.

Derek Lee, meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said this increased risk of thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday will only see sparse precipitation, while surface conditions remain very dry.

READ MORE: Though St. Mary’s River wildfire is being held, fire response continues

“We may see thunderstorms accompanied with lightning, without precipitation, which is not good, because dry lightning can ignite new fires,” Lee said.

“As we head into Monday and Wednesday we will be seeing some more noticeable precipitation and likely some wet days from Monday to Wednesday. We can definitely see possible downpours and thunderstorms as well Monday to Wednesday which will help.”

In addition to dry lightning, the other risk these thunderstorms pose is increased strong and variable wind gusts, which are also problematic for wildfires.

The area can expect around five to 30 millimetres of rain from Monday to Friday. Temperatures cool off to around 20 or just above for that period, before starting to climb back up towards the end of the work week.

Cranbrook and its surrounding area has been dryer than average so far this summer, Lee added.

“I do think that Monday and Wednesday pose a good period of wet conditions, at least some noticeable rain for the region, so hopefully that helps with the fires,” Lee said.



paul.rodgers@kimberleybulletin

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