January 08, 2016 - 2:30 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Several snow systems pommelled the region at the end of 2015, leaving the snowpack levels at a good level to start 2016.
At 143 per cent, Similkameen is most above normal for this time of year, but with the lowest in the region sitting at 92 per cent of normal snowpack levels, low snow levels are not a concern in any part of the region at this point.
The monthly snowpack report from the B.C. River Forecast Centre notes temperatures and precipitation patterns have varied throughout the province and as a result some parts of the province are sitting as low as 53 per cent of normal snowpack. Most of the province is at or near normal levels though.
The forecast centre report notes the warmer El Niño conditions is expected to last through the late spring or early summer, which, in general, will result in warmer than normal temperatures over the coming months. Precipitation during El Niño events has not shown any strong trends in the province.
By early January nearly half of the annual snowpack has typically accumulated in B.C. and the forecast centre warns it is too early in the season to know if any regions will be at an increased seasonal flood risk. Even though the 143 per cent snowpack in Similkameen is worth keeping an eye on, forecasters note it is still early and the snowpack survey was completed with limited observations.
The forecast centre notes January snow surveys are based on fewer individual snow measurements than later in the season and therefore flood and low stream level predictions could change drastically over the coming months.
Image Credit: River Forecast Centre
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