Above average snowpack

Snow packs in northern B.C. continue to run well above average, leading to concerns of floods this spring.

Allan Wishart

Free Press

Snow packs in northern B.C. continue to run well above average, leading to concerns of floods this spring.

According to the April 1 report from the River Forecast Centre, snow packs in both the Upper Fraser and Nechako basins are the highest recorded on that date since records have been kept, a period of about 60 years. The Upper Fraser is at 152 per cent of normal, while the Nechako is even higher at 165 per cent.

The report says combined cooler and wetter weather in March across the province meant significant growth in all snow packs. In fact, all regions are now above normal, with the Okanagan-Kettle the lowest at 104 per cent of normal.

While the added snow in some basins has lessened the danger of drought this spring and summer, it has raised the risk of flooding in other areas.

“This year, snow packs are at levels of concern for increased flood risk in the Upper Fraser, Nechako, Columbia, Kootenay, Peace and Skeena-Nass basins,” the report says.

By April 1, about 95 per cent of the annual snow pack has normally accumulated. For most areas, the change from accumulation to melt starts in the middle of the month, making the April 1 survey key in assessing flood risk.

The report notes the weather over the next few months will be the determining factor in how much, if any, flooding occurs. The current long-range forecast is for cooler weather for the rest of April and into May, followed by warmer temperatures. While this may sound like a good scenario for avoiding floods in the region, the report cautions it could lead to more problems.

“(The forecast for cooler weather) has the potential to prolong the snow accumulation season and delay the onset of the snow melt season. … A rapid transition from cooler to hotter weather during the snow-melt season (May and June) is something to watch for because of its potential impact on flood generation.”


Just Posted

Couple selling fake jewelry in Fraser Lake, say RCMP

A man and woman have been defrauding local residents, offering fake jewelry for sale

Gitxsan forming cross-sector salmon management team

Nation again declares closure of fishery in territory for 2019

Editorial: The Speaker shouldn’t be an MLA

Time to re-evaluate the Speaker position

Column: condition of cows after winter feeding

The protein content of winter feed is important, says rancher David Zirnhelt

Concept designs for Vanderhoof’s new CNC campus unveiled

Community was invited to provide feedback at a public engagement session Dec. 6

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

Retired B.C. teacher a YouTube Sudoku sensation

A retired Kelowna teacher has amassed quite the following online by teaching the art of solving a Sudoku puzzle.

UN chief returns as climate talks teeter closer to collapse

Predictions from international climate expert, warn that global warming is set to do irreversible environmental damage.

Trump’s willingness to intervene in Meng detention roils Canada’s justification

The International Crisis Group said Tuesday, Dec. 11 it’s aware of reports that its North East Asia senior adviser Michael Kovrig has been detained.

Scientist awarded $100K for work on Arctic contaminants that led to ban

Derek Muir has received the $100,000 Weston Family Prize for his research that showed those carcinogens were able to move into the Arctic.

Manhunt continues for France shooter

Suspected gunman named, had long police record

‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘Shining’ added to National Film Registry

“These cinematic treasures must be protected because they document our history, culture, hopes and dreams.”

B.C. Lions hire DeVone Claybrooks as head coach

Former Stampeders DC succeeds CFL legend Wally Buono

Most Read