Downtown Revelstoke this week. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

High Revelstoke snowpack increases spring flood risk

Spring weather also contributes heavily to flooding

According to the B.C. Ministry of Forests, the snowpack in the Revelstoke area is almost 130 per cent above average, increasing the risk for spring flooding.

At the Revelstoke Mountain Resort, which measures snow near the city at roughly 1,900 metres, more than 800 cm has fallen this season. According to their historical tracker, this year is the second snowiest on record after the 2017/18 season since 2007.

READ MORE: Revelstoke Mountain Resort has third biggest snowfall in North America

READ MORE: Revelstoke already double last year’s snowfall

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Revelstoke celebrates 2020 with a snow day

The province said in a recent snow survey report that the high snowpack increases the possibility for spring flooding throughout the province, including the Revelstoke area.

“This does not mean that spring flooding will occur, rather the chances of flooding are increased,” reads a report from the B.C. Ministry of Forests.

While snowpack depth is one risk factor for flooding, spring weather is also critical in whether flooding will occur. Heavy rainfall during snow melt has been a key driver in spring flooding and the province said “can cause flooding irrespective of snowpack levels.”

They continued that January was a very active weather month for B.C., with persistent storm cycles and subtropical atmospheric rivers, an extremely cold Arctic air episode and multiple large snowfall events.

The snowpack for the province is 110 per cent above normal levels, up from 84 per cent on Jan. 1.

Seasonal weather forecasts by Environment Canada suggest cooler than normal temperatures for February through April for most of B.C.

Environment Canada forecasts another 40 cm to fall in the Revelstoke area within the next two weeks.


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

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