October 16, 2021 – 8:30 a.m.
The globe will see its second La Niña weather event in as many years, but a local meteorologist said that doesn’t necessarily mean a colder winter in interior BC.
“I kind of put my hat on and sit on the fence with it,” said Doug Lundquist, Environment Canada meteorologist.
La Niña’s most recent cycle is expected to be weaker than normal, said the Kelowna-based meteorologist, and considering how average global temperatures are steadily rising due to climate change, he is not yet convinced that this winter in BC will be colder than average will be
“On that basis alone, I wouldn’t necessarily put ourselves in the common cold category,” he said. “For us at the Okanagan, this winter could be almost average, above or below … roughly the same chance out of the three categories.”
Since Lundquist began watching the weather professionally, he has said the patterns currently in play give him less confidence in this year’s long-term forecast than anyone else during his career.
However, he said Environment Canada will provide a clearer update on the upcoming winter by November 1st and an even better forecast on December 1st.
“It gets more accurate the closer we get to the start of winter,” he said.
Having a second La Niña in as many years is known as a double dip. The current cycle is expected to last until the spring of next year.
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, winter 2021-2022 in the Okanagan and Kamloops will alternate between cold and mild periods.
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