Susana Baez enjoys the sun at Boyce-Gyro Beach Park in Kelowna on Saturday afternoon. The temperature is expected to reach 32 C today.
The forecast high of 32 C is nearly 10 degrees warmer than normal for Sept. 1, and five degrees warmer than the maximum temperature usually reached on Canada Day.
So it's not surprising that this Labour Day weekend, about the most exertion Kelly Pope plans on engaging in is reaching for the suntan lotion, and possibly a beverage or two.
"Bring it on, endless summer, right here in the Okanagan," Pope, 24, said when told of the weather forecast Saturday as he relaxed with friends on the aptly-named Hot Sands Beach in Kelowna's City Park.
"We should camp here tonight, so we can beat everybody down here (on Sunday) and get the best spot again," joked Brown's friend, Nathan Gabriel, 25.
Though hot, today's temperature is unlikely to eclipse the Okanagan record for Sept. 1 of 36.6 C, set in Penticton in 1987.
After a few days of cool and showery conditions, August ended with a warming trend with highs Saturday in the mid- to upper-20s across the Valley.
The average daytime high in Kelowna through August was 28.5 C with overnight lows of
12.4 C, almost exactly on long-term averages for the month.
Okanagan Lake reached a maximum temperature this summer of 21 C on Aug. 10, according to Environment Canada, and the water temperature yesterday was 19.4 C.
The 2013 summer tourist season was up slightly from 2012, according to Greg Salloum, owner of the Best Western Plus Hotel and Suites.
"I'd say the numbers were a little bit healthier than 2012, which was a pretty tough year," Salloum said.
"But although the numbers were up, the reality is we have quite a few more hotel rooms in Kelowna now than we did a few years ago, so that business gets divided up more," Salloum said.
There are about 3,800 hotel and motel rooms in Kelowna and West Kelowna. September is traditionally the third busiest month for tourism, after July and August, with visitor numbers dropping off sharply once the Okanagan Wine Festival concludes in early October.