Snowpack Below Norm for January
Prince George, B.C. – The monthly reports on the snowpack in B.C. indicate the Province could see lower steam flows for the spring and summer in Northern B.C.
The first report of 2017 shows the Nechako basin is at 90% of normal, but the Upper West and Upper Fraser East are both well below where they would normally be in January. Upper Fraser West is at 59% while the Upper Fraser East is at 62% of the normal snowpack for January. The Peace is at 59% of normal, while the Skeena-Nass is at 65%.
The River Forecast Centre says the Province has “below-normal snow pack for January 1st, with the average of all snow measurements at 82%.”
The Centre says there are two weather factors that have created this scenario. The first is the warm November, which “led to a delay in the early season accumulation of snow, and in some areas led to melting of the early season snow that had fallen in October.” The second factor is that Arctic Air flow that covered much of B.C. during December, leading to dry conditions across Northern B.C.
The River Forecast Centre report says that normally, by early January, ” nearly half of the annual BC snowpack has typically accumulated.” Although it is still early in the snowpack surveys and things could change , the River Forecast Centre says ” Currently observed low snow pack in some regions of the province, particularly the northern third of the province, is an early indication of the potential for lower than normal stream flow in the spring and summer this year.”