Penticton News

No spring flood threat based on current B.C. Interior snowpack

The latest B.C. snow index information reveals below normal snow accumulations so far this year at the region's higher elevations.
Image Credit: Anthony Stahn

PENTICTON - With the snowpack below normal for this time of year in the Thompson and Okanagan watersheds, the B.C. River Forecast Centre is cautiously optimistic about flood risk this spring.

Results from the Feb. 1 snow survey and water bulletin indicate the watersheds are between 10 and 20 per cent below normal this year, with two-thirds of the annual winter snowpack generally accumulated by now.

The South Thompson and Okanagan snow basin index is currently 89 and 86 per cent respectively, with the Similkameen sitting at 74 per cent. The North Thompson is sitting slightly above seasonal norms at 112 per cent.

The snowpack this year built up rapidly over a five to six week period from early December to early January.

The River Forecast Centre says there is no significant elevated flood risk present in the current snowpack, generally across the province.

Seasonal runoff is forecast for the Thompson and Okanagan lake basins with below normal seasonal runoff anticipated for the Similkameen, Nicola Lake and Kalamalka Lake-Wood Lake basins.

Last year at this time, persistently high snowpack levels were creating fears of spring flooding issues.

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