Flood risk fades, dry summer more likely in B.C.

B.C. snowpack at record low 23 per cent of normal as of June 1, Fraser River peak flow May 8 was earliest on record

There's still snow in the alpine on Whistler Mountain but average snowpacks are far below normal for this time of year across B.C.

Spring flooding along rivers in B.C. now appears unlikely, but there’s a growing threat that much of the province may be in for another dangerously dry summer.

That’s the indication from the latest measurements posted by B.C.’s River Forecast Centre.

As of June 1, B.C.’s alpine snowpacks were at 23 per cent of normal for that time of year – a record low.

A warmer than normal May caused the snowpack to melt off very rapidly.

“Current snow conditions are more typical of late June or early July,” the forecast centre’s latest bulletin said, resulting in many rivers reaching flow conditions that are three to four weeks ahead of usual.

“Most rivers have likely experienced their peak levels for the year, unless an extreme rainfall event occurs in June or early July,” the bulletin said.

Preliminary data for the Fraser River at Hope shows the river flow peaked at 6,130 cubic metres per second on May 8.

That date is the earliest on record that the lower Fraser has peaked and it’s also the second lowest peak flow on record. Normally the Fraser peaks in mid-June.

Fishery biologists have already sounded a warning that low streamflow conditions could create particularly challenging water conditions for salmon returning to spawn.

June has so far seen cooler temperatures and moderate rainfall.

The forecast centre says below normal stream flows are likely across B.C. this summer if there’s near-normal precipitation for the rest of the spring and summer.

Last year’s severe drought triggered extreme water sprinkling restrictions in the Lower Mainland, as well as angling closures and heightened risk of forest fires across much of the province.

Snowpack levels as of June 1

Just Posted

Update: Highway 3 west of Keremeos open to alternating traffic

Details scarce about collision that has closed Highway 3 west of Keremeos

NHL alumni and Canadian country music stars gearing up for Okanagan charity extravaganza

A two-day May weekend event combines, hockey, golf, country music and a whole lot of fun

Behind the mask of the South Okanagan furries community

Penticton furries community member said it’s not a sexual thing

Festival planned for Easter weekend

Organizers preparing 10,000 eggs for hunt at Summerland’s Easter Egg-stravaganza

Summerland experiences effects of sudden warm temperatures

Water pools near sports fields; minor landslide affects Garnet Valley Road as snow melts

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Okanagan librarian delves into trio of titles

Book Talk: Dark Matter, Lincoln’s Dreams and The Jealous Kind

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Indigenous students recognized at ceremony at Okanagan College

The ceremony recognizes that students are getting an education while holding onto Indigenous background and teachings

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Most Read