Hot, dry July leads into August showers

It was hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk for most of July in Greater Trail.

It was hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk for most of July in Greater Trail.

But if cooking wasn’t on the list, then chilling poolside probably was because July was two degrees warmer than average, and the hottest on record since 2007.

Continued high pressure brought dry and very warm conditions, with 18 of the 31 days reaching temperatures exceeding 30 degrees, according to Ron Lakeman, forecaster for the Southeast Fire Centre.

Canada Day kicked off the month with sun-filled celebrations in Trail, but the following day, (July 2) brought the hottest day with a temperature of 38.3 C.

Although that is a new high for July 2, the monthly temperature on record remains 39.9, which was set on July 30, 2003.

The heat wave let up only four days when much-needed rain doused one of the driest months on record.

An upper trough and its band of thundershowers on July 17, accounted for 70 per cent of the total rainfall (14 mm), explained Lakeman.

The overall rainfall was 18 mm, 35 per cent less 51 mm, the regular measurement recorded in July.

While the heat and sere was ideal for basking on the beach, the hot temperatures put Greater Trail at a higher risk of forest fires.

“The fire danger risk is unusually high in Greater Trail, which is a direct result of extended high temperatures,” said Jordan Turner, fire information officer for the Southeast Fire Centre.

“Forest fuels, such as dead branches and pine needles, dried out rapidly and left the area looking like it usually does mid-August.”

As July melded into the August long weekend, unsettled weather brought thunder pack and lightning, conditions notorious for sparking forest fires.

According to bcwildfire.ca, the only current wildfire of note burning in the region is the Perry Ridge fire in the Slocan Valley, 4.5 km west of Winlaw. By Monday, that fire had burned 65 hectares and was reported to be 20 per cent contained.

Although this week calls for a reduced chance of thundershowers and temperatures in the low 30s, Lakeman said the month may end up being cooler and wetter than normal.

A moist airmass flowing up from the south may put a damper on summer-like conditions as early as the weekend, said Lakeman.

“There are growing indications that August is going to be cooler than usual with more unsettled weather on the way,” he added.