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October 27, 2017 7:00 pm

Snowpack Increases in Upper Fraser

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 @ 5:57 AM

Prince George, B.C.- The latest report on the snowpack indicates the Upper Fraser Basin has seen an increase in  snow over the past month, but  there remains a risk of low flows this summer.

At this time in January,  the Upper Fraser West area was at 59% of  the norm,   and 62% of the normal snowpack in the Upper Fraser East.

The  report for  February  indicates   the Upper Fraser  West is now  74% of  normal snowpack,  while  the Upper Fraser east has increased slightly  to 65%.

The Nechako Basin has also seen  an increase,  sitting at 101% of  normal snowpack compared to  the 90% recorded a month ago.

The River Forecast Centre’s monthly report notes well below-normal snowpack (<65%) in the Stikine and Liard,  at 57 and 49%  respectively, however, those determinations are based on “limited snow measurements”. Unless there is considerable snowfall in those  two regions as well as the Upper Fraser  over the next  couple of months,  the areas could  see  low flows this  summer.

As for flood risk,  snowpack  is  just one  piece of the  puzzle.  Rapid  high  temperatures  or  prolonged  rainy periods  can  change the situation, but  at this point,   the River Forecast Centre says ” It would require extremely wet conditions to make a significant impact on seasonal flood risk”.

The seasonal forecasts from Environment Canada  indicate near normal temperatures across most of  the province   this month and through to  April.

The River Forecast Centre says at this stage of the season, there is “limited indication that any region of the province is developing increased seasonal flood risk due to high snowpack.”


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