Smoke on the water

Masked children debate whether to go in for a smoky swim in Okanagan Lake, Tuesday. The water and air temperatures in the valley are almost identical. (Parents were nearby, but not included in this posed photo.)

The water in Okanagan Lake was just a couple degrees cooler than the Valley’s air temperature on Tuesday.

After a torrid start to September in which five of the month's first 12 days topped 30 C, air conditions have cooled significantly. Sunday and Monday’s highs were just 22 C.

Meanwhile, the lake temperature was still an eminently-swimmable 20.5 C on Tuesday afternoon, according to an Environment Canada thermometer attached to the W.R. Bennett bridge in Kelowna.

The lake feels much colder than the air, however, because water is a better conductor of heat. So if you jump into 22 C water, your body will lose heat much more quickly than if you're just standing in 22 C air.

Minus the smoke, swimming should remain pleasant for awhile yet as The Weather Network is forecasting highs of between 26-28 C from Wednesday through Sunday, with smoke clearing by Thursday.