Taking advantage of the warmest January day ever in Kelowna, city workers apply a resilient plastic coating to the crosswalk at Water Street and Lawrence Avenue. The work is usually done in March.
But if a long-range forecast that predicts daytime highs well above freezing proves accurate, the first month of 2014 will go into the record books as particularly balmy.
"It's still early, but we could be heading that way," Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist said Monday. "At the very least, we may have kicked the worst of winter for this year."
Aside from saving money on road clearing now, a particularly warm January could help the City of Kelowna reduce its $500,000 pothole repair budget in the spring.
"It's mainly the freeze and thaw cycle that causes potholes in the pavement," said Darryl Astofooroff, public works manager. "If it stays relatively warm, and temperatures don't go well below freezing at night, that should mean fewer potholes around town."
Monday's high temperature in Kelowna of 13 C, as recorded by the city's thermometer at Stuart Park, eclipsed the old record for the day of 6.5 C.
In fact, it was the warmest January day in the past 20 years, beating the old mark of 12.4 C set on Jan. 17, 2011.
Vernon has been breaking temperature records that date back more than 100 years. Saturday's high of 8.6 C was well above the record for the date, 6.5 C, set in 1983.
The warm temperatures across B.C. are due to a persistent flow of mild air from the Pacific Ocean.
Including Monday, the daytime high temperatures for the next two weeks in Kelowna should average 4.6 C, according to The Weather Network.
Overnight lows will be right at freezing for the next two weeks, the network predicts.
If that forecast proves accurate, the mean temperature for January - the average of all daytime highs and lows - will be 2 C. The warmest January on record in Kelowna was 2006, when the mean temperature was 1.7 C. The second warmest was in 1954, when the mean temperature was 1.4 C.
By early February, the prospect of a protracted bitter cold spell - like one in early December that saw daytime highs reach only minus 10 C for almost a week - becomes increasingly unlikely, Lundquist said.