Extreme, spectacular, shocking.
None of those words can be used to describe fall 2019 in Kamloops (unless it's extremely normal, spectacularly average and shockingly not shocking), according to Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist.
"It was abnormally normal," he tells KamloopsMatters. "It's not normal to be close to normal."
Dec. 1 marked the end of November and therefore fall; Dec. 21 is the winter solstice, but meteorological winter starts Dec. 1, Lundquist explains.
For November, statistics show the month was slightly cooler than normal (1.5 C in 2019, compared to the recent average of 2.1 C) and slightly wetter (26 mm of precipitation this year compared to the average of 23 mm), Lunquist says.
"The story is the same for the whole season. It was 8.2 C. It's usually 8.7 C."
"We had 82 mm of precipitation," he adds. "We usually have 74 mm."
While there were periods of warm and cold weather, they balanced out for a normal three months. Lundquist says that's "a bit different" because usually a season is one extreme or another, and overall it balances out to an average.
Winter might be more of the same, but it's difficult to predict, Lundquist says, as there aren't any phenomena with predictable effects expected, like how El Nino causes a warm winter. There is a blob of warm water in the Pacific Ocean right now, but Lundquist says it's unclear how it'll impact the weather. It may cause warmer temperatures, or it may cause cold air to sweep in from the Arctic.
Right now, it's expected to be warmer than usual but that's "not really set in stone."
"Because the climate is tending to warm over the last 50 years, if there's any category, it might be the warmer," he says.
However, because precipitation is unpredictable, it could still be snowy.
"One or two storms can define a winter as far as snow goes," says Lundquist.
Last year was one of the five driest winters on record for Kamloops, but not a particularly cold one on average, despite some cold snaps.
This winter, so far, is shaping up to be a warm start.
"(This week), it's one of those weeks. It depends on the day and time of day," Lundquist says. "It's going to be one of those mixed bag types of weeks."
He adds the public needs to be cautious walking and driving in these conditions as ice can form with little warning.