Snow packs across the province are above normal as of March 1, 2021. (BC River Forecast Centre Image)

Snow packs across the province are above normal as of March 1, 2021. (BC River Forecast Centre Image)

La Niña spring foretells possible flood conditions for Shuswap, Southern Interior

Snow packs are higher but the weather in the coming months is most important flood predictor

With snow pack levels higher than normal for this time of year and La Niña conditions expected to lead to a cool, wet spring, the B.C. River Forecast Centre is keeping an eye on possible flooding in the coming months.

According to the forecast centre’s most recent snow survey and water supply bulletin dated March 1, current conditions reflect an elevated risk for freshet-related flooding.

Provincewide, the snow water index tracked by the river forecast centre is at 114 per cent of normal. In the South Thompson watershed, which includes the Shuswap, the snow pack is less than the average being observed across the province at 106 per cent of normal. Further south, the levels for the Okanagan are at 120 per cent of normal, and the Similkameen watershed is 124 per cent of normal. The Upper Columbia Watershed is at 114 per cent of the normal amount.

Read More: Message warning sex trade workers scrawled on road near Sagmoen farm

Read More: Head of Salmon Arm Chamber moves from climate catastrophes to business success

In a typical year, approximately 80 per cent of the annual snowpack provincewide has accumulated by early March. Environment and Climate Change Canada is predicting La Niña conditions for the rest of the spring, which could lead to delayed snow melt and snow accumulating later in the year than normal.

According to the river forecast centre, whatever happens with the snow pack, weather conditions later in the spring when the snow begins to melt are the most important factor in possible high water events. The snow survey notes that flooding is possible in years with normal or below normal snow pack, while high snow packs do not typically result in flooding unless there is significant contributing weather. According to the snow survey, weather conditions from April to June determine the rate of melt. Heavy rainfall in those months can also contribute to high lakes and swollen rivers.

The river forecast centre will release their next update on conditions on April 9.

Read More: Missing Merritt cowboy is presumed dead, but family still looks for answers

Read More: BCTF says more K-7 teachers with COVID-19 than Grades 8-12 teachers



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Environment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
Kootenay-Columbia MP pans federal budget

Conservative Rob Morrison says budget doesn’t have a plan for long-term spending priorities

A view of the Jordan River from the trail in the area, during the summer. There are two new gravel pits up for consideration by the province. The area is deemed to be ecologically sensitive. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
LETTER: When did Revelstoke become gravel pit central?

Two new gravel pits are being proposed near the Jordan River

Photo: pixabay.com
Morning Start: Why do dogs like squeaky toys?

Your morning start for Tuesday, April 20, 2021

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Kate Budau’s flat tire outside of Glenmore Elementary School on Monday. (Contributed)
Kelowna mom searches for Good Samaritans who helped her change a tire

Woman looking for two dads who helped her after her tire popped in the Glenmore Elementary School drop-off area on Monday

John Wekking, Merritt Road Report - Facebook
 Coquihalla Road Report
Wildfire sparks off Coquihalla in Merritt

The wildfire is located near the Dollarama off of Highway 5

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Most Read