Snow pack big and could be getting bigger in the Okanagan - InfoNews

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Snow pack big and could be getting bigger in the Okanagan

Water is flowing quickly in Mission Creek.
April 09, 2018 - 2:12 PM

An already large snowpack in the Okanagan and Similkameen regions is likely to grow through April and into May increasing the risk of local flooding.

In what it calls a key measure, the B.C. River Forecast Centre released its April snow survey today showing the snowpack in both regions at 152 per cent of normal for this time of year, the highest in the province.

That snowpack level ties with April of 1999 as the highest since 1980, the report notes.

Seasonal volume runoff forecasts are also high for the Okanagan and Similkameen both sitting above 130 per cent.

Both the North and South Thompson regions are at near-normal snow pack levels.

The forecast centre notes for the first time the hydrological effects of the 2017 B.C. wildfires in watersheds throughout the province.

Many of the regions affected by last summer’s wildfires have above normal snow packs this spring, the report says.

Despite the enlarged snow pack, the forecast centre says intense or prolonged rainfall and extreme temperatures during the upcoming freshet will still play a pivotal role in whether spring flooding occurs.

Extensive flooding occured around Okanagan Lake and other Southern Interior Lakes in the spring of 2017.

The forecast centre’s next freshet report is scheduled for May 7, 2018.

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