Flood risk fades, dry summer more likely in B.C.

B.C. snowpack at record low 23 per cent of normal as of June 1, Fraser River peak flow May 8 was earliest on record

There's still snow in the alpine on Whistler Mountain but average snowpacks are far below normal for this time of year across B.C.

Spring flooding along rivers in B.C. now appears unlikely, but there’s a growing threat that much of the province may be in for another dangerously dry summer.

That’s the indication from the latest measurements posted by B.C.’s River Forecast Centre.

As of June 1, B.C.’s alpine snowpacks were at 23 per cent of normal for that time of year – a record low.

A warmer than normal May caused the snowpack to melt off very rapidly.

“Current snow conditions are more typical of late June or early July,” the forecast centre’s latest bulletin said, resulting in many rivers reaching flow conditions that are three to four weeks ahead of usual.

“Most rivers have likely experienced their peak levels for the year, unless an extreme rainfall event occurs in June or early July,” the bulletin said.

Preliminary data for the Fraser River at Hope shows the river flow peaked at 6,130 cubic metres per second on May 8.

That date is the earliest on record that the lower Fraser has peaked and it’s also the second lowest peak flow on record. Normally the Fraser peaks in mid-June.

Fishery biologists have already sounded a warning that low streamflow conditions could create particularly challenging water conditions for salmon returning to spawn.

June has so far seen cooler temperatures and moderate rainfall.

The forecast centre says below normal stream flows are likely across B.C. this summer if there’s near-normal precipitation for the rest of the spring and summer.

Last year’s severe drought triggered extreme water sprinkling restrictions in the Lower Mainland, as well as angling closures and heightened risk of forest fires across much of the province.

Snowpack levels as of June 1

Just Posted

VIDEO: Burning truck in Castlegar spews smoke and sparks

Burning truck in Castlegar spews smoke and sparks

Columbia River Treaty to be renegotiated in early 2018

News came in a Tweet from the U.S. Department of State

City of Castlegar hires former CAO as airport consultant

John Malcolm has been hired on a six-month contract to act on the city’s behalf on airport matters.

Castlegar Fire Department Toy Drive raises over $1,100 for food bank

The Castlegar Fire Department held its 35th annual Toy Drive at the Castlegar A&W on Saturday.

Millennium Park Concession had a successful year

Profits up as Castlegar park visitors consume 2300 pounds of potatoes.

Me Too At Work: Sexual assault and harassment in the B.C. workplace

Introducing an in-depth look at who is affected and what can be done

Holiday Train rocks into Castlegar

Local foodbank receives $10,000 at event.

Proposed snowmobiles along Sicamous roads concern RCMP

RCMP, ICBC and province not yet on-board with proposed off-road bylaw in the B.C. Interior

‘Assemble your own meal’ kits grow into $120M industry in Canada

Kits offer a middle ground between eating out and grocery shopping

Millennials closing in as B.C.’s biggest wine drinkers

Generation X leads the way in current consumption of B.C. wine, as more wine drinkers are enjoying local varietals

Canadians lag behind Americans in giving to charity

Only one-in-five Canadians donated to charities in 2017

B.C. children adoption rates lagging, despite increased funding: watchdog

More than 1,000 children children are still waiting to be adopted, new report shows

FortisBC to lower natural gas rates in 2018

Rate changes to impact the Lower Mainland, Kootenays, Interior and Vancouver Island

Four-month-old baby girl critically injured in Toronto

Baby, a man and a woman in serious condition

Most Read