Warm weather on the way

There's a warm spell coming to the East Kootenay next week as the forecast for Monday is a high of 16 degrees.

There’s a warm spell coming to the East Kootenay next week as the forecast for Monday is a high of 16 degrees.

Lisa Coldwells, Environment Canada meteorologist, noted that all of the southeast corner of the province is looking at remarkable warm temperatures.

“In fact all of B.C. is going to be underneath some very warm air,” Coldwells said. “That’s due to the Pineapple Express that’s now on the Coast. It’s bringing in warm, moist air.”

The source of the Pineapple Express moisture is the Hawaiian islands.

“It’s a stream of atmospheric moisture,” she said.

She noted that all of the precipitation — in this case copious amounts of rain — is all falling on the Coast.

“Once that rain has wrung itself out of the clouds, that warm air moves over the province and subsides over the mountains,” she said. “As it comes down it warms.”

The warmest days are forecast to be Sunday and Monday.

Coldwells said the Monday high of 16 degrees may be a bit optimistic.

“I would say that 13 or 14 degrees is definitely not out of the realm of possibility,” she said. “If that happened — if it did crack 14 — that would be the highest temperature ever recorded in January.”

She noted the last record was 13.9 degrees on Jan. 24, 2005.

“We’re definitely moving into records territory with this warm air moving in,” she said.

The Pineapple Express situation happens a couple of times a year. The January 2005 spell had a number of days surrounding that high came from a similar weather situation.

“It’s going to be extremely mild for this time of year,” she said. “The normal daytime temperature for Cranbrook is -6.1 in January. You can see even if we get to 12 degrees, you’re 15-20 degrees above normal.”

But things get colder near the end of the week, where she said highs will be more in the vicinity of two degrees.

“We’ll just have to sit and wait and see if we actually get that (record) warm, and in the meanwhile we’ll enjoy the mild temperatures for the end of January,” she said.