Rapid snowpack growth in Thompson, Okanagan increases risk of spring flooding - InfoNews

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Rapid snowpack growth in Thompson, Okanagan increases risk of spring flooding

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
February 07, 2020 - 12:10 PM

It’s been a snowy start to the year in British Columbia and that is reflected in the province’s growing snowpacks, which also increase the chances of spring flooding in the Thompson and Okanagan.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre’s latest measurements were released today, Feb. 7, and they indicate rapid growth in the snowpack in the province over the past month from 84 per cent of normal on Jan.1 to 110 per cent on Feb. 1.

Precipitation for January was in the 120 to 200 per cent of normal range for most of Environment Canada’s weather stations in the province, according to the River Forecast Centre.

Snowpacks in the North and South Thompson were 119 and 130 per cent of normal on Feb. 1, while the Okanagan was 129 per cent of normal. The Similkameen was slightly less than normal, at 97 per cent.

The growth of the snowpack comes with the risk of spring flooding in the West and South Thompson and the Okanagan.

The experts at the River Forecast Centre noted in the report that the size of the snowpack is only one of the indicators for spring flooding. The weather in the spring is also a critical factor.

Two-thirds of the annual B.C. snowpack typically accumulates by early February. With two months left for snow accumulations, weather trends that are currently present are expected to persist, which could increase the prospect for spring flooding, the River Forecast Centre said.


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