Warmth sets more records in parts of B.C., while avalanche risk remains high - InfoNews

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Warmth sets more records in parts of B.C., while avalanche risk remains high

People take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather for a walk along Okanagan Lake in Penticton, Tuesday, March 19, 2019.
March 22, 2019 - 10:51 AM

VANCOUVER - Record-breaking warmth that ushered spring into British Columbia is slowly moving east, but continues to bring sunny skies and high temperatures to the Interior, along with mounting concerns about avalanches.

Environment Canada says 18 temperature records were shattered Thursday, mainly in northern and central B.C., unlike earlier in the week when areas of Victoria and Greater Vancouver were among the hot spots in Canada.

At 13.3 degrees, the Masset area of Haida Gwaii tied a record set in 1906 while Prince Rupert reached 18 degrees, just edging the previous record from 1915.

The southeastern community of Sparwood was among the hottest in the province at 19.8 degrees, underscoring Avalanche Canada's concern about slide conditions in southeastern B.C. , southwestern Alberta and elsewhere

The risk of human-triggered avalanches in regions from Glacier, Yoho and Kootenay national parks, south through Kananaskis Country, the Purcells, south Rockies and Waterton Lakes is listed as high at all levels of the mountains.

The Avalanche Canada warning, issued earlier this week as more people were expected to head into the backcountry during spring break, says the likelihood of avalanches is raised by dramatic temperature increases, coupled with limited nighttime cooling.

"This will weaken the snowpack on all aspects, increasing the possibility of large natural avalanches as well making it easier for the weight of a person to trigger deeper weak layers,” the warning states.

The Avalanche Canada website said travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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