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Thompson-Okanagan snowpack below normal for this time of year

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January 10, 2017 - 10:00 AM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – An extremely warm, wet November followed by an unusually cold December has ski hills and weather stations in the Thompson-Okanagan reporting a slightly lower than average snowpack.

While snow levels at lower elevations have been much higher than normal through December, that isn’t the case higher up, according to the province's Snow Report issued on Jan. 1.

“Colder than normal temperatures in southwest B.C. has led to much greater snow accumulations at low elevation, while the impact on higher elevation snowpack has been modest,” the report says. “(An) extremely warm November period across the province led to a delay in the early season accumulation of snow, and in some areas led to melting of the early season snow that had fallen in October.”

Average snowpack across the province is currently around 82 per cent of normal, with the Okanagan at less than 80 per cent.

For low elevation areas in Southwest B.C. snowfall was as much as 300 per cent of average.

“By early January, nearly half of the annual B.C. snowpack has typically accumulated,” the report says. “At this early stage in the season, there is limited indication that any regions of the province are developing increased seasonal flood risk."

“However, with three or more months left of snow accumulation, these outlooks could change significantly.”


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