Snowpack Remains Below Normal
Prince George, B.C. – It would take something extraordinary to increase flood risk during the spring freshet. That’s according to the latest snow pack survey by the B.C. River Forecast Centre.The Upper Fraser (both east and west) is sitting at 66% of what the normal snow pack is at this time of year. The Nechako basin is closing in on its normal snowpack , registering at 95% at the beginning of March.
The River Forecast Centre’s report says the March basin index for the entire Fraser River basin is at 83% ” which is approximately a 1-in-15 year low snowpack or the 10th lowest March index in the past 65 years. ”
Below normal snowpack measurements have been recorded for the Skeena-Nass (74%) Stikine (52%)Peace (64%) and the Liard (45%).
With the below normal snowpack in the Upper Fraser, Skeena-Nass, Peace and Liard regions, the River Forecast Centre says there is a potential for low flows over the summer.
The Centre is quick to point out that snowpack is one factor in trying to predict the freshet or summer flows, but extended rainfall or a rapid melt could alter the scenario “at this stage would require extremely wet or cool conditions to make a significant impact on seasonal flood risk” concludes the report.