The latest map of snow pack indices. River Forecast Centre image.

East Kootenay snow packs still moderately high

EK snow packs at 114 per cent of normal

The B.C. River Forecast Centre increases the frequency of its Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletins to twice a month as the freshet swings into gear.

The most recent measurements were taken on May 15, and reported on May 21, 2020.

The report says that most snow basin indices for May 15th dropped relative to May 1st values. The overall average of province-wide measurements decreased from 106% of normal on May 1st to 97% of normal for May 1st. However the East Kootenay snow indices are at 115% of normal, the same as they were on May 1. That is considered moderately high.

The May 15th Snow Survey is less comprehensive than May 1st, with only 17 manual snow surveys conducted for May 15th compared to 108 manual snow courses for May 1st. Thus, the May 15 bulletin is most useful in determining if the snowmelt is early, delayed or seasonal. Spring snowmelt for 2020 is considered seasonal in nature. Larger river systems have yet to reach their peak levels for the year and are still at risk for flooding this Spring due to snowmelt and/or heavy rainfall. These include areas in the Upper Fraser, Cariboo Mountains, North Thompson, South Thompson, West Kootenay, East Kootenay, Upper Columbia and Lower Fraser Valley. Rivers in other areas of the province remain high and are sensitive to flooding from heavy rainfall.

Seasonal temperatures in the Interior and several storm systems in the first two weeks of May contributed to minor snow accumulation at higher elevations in the Columbia, Kootenay, and Boundary.

Generally, 15-25% of the accumulated snow pack has melted by mid-May. Most sites have melted at seasonal rates this year. Most lower elevation areas are now snow-free (approximately below 800-1000m in coastal BC, below 1600m in southern BC and below 1200-1300m in northern BC), while higher elevation snow pack has experienced limited melt.

Most rivers in British Columbia were flowing at normal or above normal for early-May. There have been no Flood Watches or Flood Warnings issued by the River Forecast Centre in May; however, many regions have been under High Streamflow Advisories for several weeks. Regions with rivers and creeks under advisory include: the Cariboo, North Thompson, Bonaparte, Okanagan, Nicola, Boundary, Shuswap, & Salmon River. The larger river systems in the Interior (Upper Fraser, Quesnel, North Thompson, South Thompson, Kootenay, Columbia) are rising, but not forecast to reach high levels through the following week. They will likely reach peak flows in early to mid-June, or possibly later for higher elevation watersheds or with wetter weather.

The next measurements will be taken June 1 and released on June 8, 2020.

READ: East Kootenay snow pack at 114% of normal

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

When it’s too dangerous to sing

It’s easier to imagine a world without birdsong than a world without choirs

Birthday wishes come true as Kimberley girl reunited with her cat

Cat was missing for a month, reunited with owners because SPCA was able to trace microchip

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Cranbrook Bucks add veteran blueliner to defensive corps

A veteran blueliner has joined the Cranbrook Bucks defensive corps. Carson Kurylo… Continue reading

Conservation officers rescue elk calf, take it to wildlife rehab centre

Members with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service recently rescued a dehydrated and… Continue reading

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read