Snowpack Still Up in Nechako Basin
Prince George, B.C. – A soggy spring continues to have an impact on the Nechako Basin.
The River Forecast Centre’s Snow Survey bulletin indicates that as of May 15, the snowpack in the Nechako Basin was 127 per cent of normal, and 78 per cent in the Upper Fraser East (no data is available for Upper Fraser West).
Below normal snowpack is also present in the Peace (79 per cent) and well below normal in Stikine (55 per cent).
The high snow basin indices for the Nechako, Middle Fraser, Lower Fraser, South Thompson, Kootenays, Okanagan, Boundary, Similkameen and South Coast are reflective of a delay in the onset in snow melt season this year, particularly at higher elevations, as well as higher than normal seasonal accumulations.
Conditions have not changed significantly since May 1, with snow melt rates over the past 2-3 weeks being typical for this time of the year.
Looking ahead, high elevation snow pack is still sufficient to provide on-going flood risk across the province.
On larger rivers and areas draining higher elevations, including the North Thompson, Fraser, Kootenay, Columbia and Skeena, snow melt is expected to lead to increasing flows over the next 2-3 weeks.
While in areas of the Central Interior and South Interior which feed from higher elevation areas, flood risks are expected to remain elevated over the next one to two weeks.
Yesterday, the River Forecast Centre issued a high streamflow advisory for Nautley River, including tributaries including Francois Lake and Fraser lake.
“A high-pressure ridge is bringing unseasonable heat across the BC Interior,” the agency said in a statement. “Temperatures in the region reached up to the low to mid-twenties Sunday and are expected to be in the same range today. Snowmelt rates have been high in response to these temperatures.
“Lake levels have been steadily rising on the Nautley River throughout the freshet season. Flows at the Water Survey of Canada gauge are currently at 127 m3/s (5-year flow) and are expected to continue to rise slowly through this week.”
A high streamflow advisory means that river levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but that no major flooding is expected. Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible.