Low B.C. snowpacks reduce flood risk, hike chance of summer droughts
A dying Western redcedar in the Highlands. (Photo: The Land Conservancy of BC)
VANCOUVER - Snowpacks across British Columbia are below normal this year, reducing the likelihood of flooding but raising the spectre of dry conditions this summer.
The River Forecast Centre has released its latest Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin showing the average of all mountain snowpacks in B.C. is calculated at just 79 per cent of normal.
The northwest, Vancouver Island, Nicola and Similkameen regions have snowpacks below 60 per cent of normal.
The Skagit, which lies along the United States border between Hope and Princeton, has a snowpack level of just 15 per cent of normal, while the report says no regions in B.C. have above normal snow levels.
Melting, especially at the low- to mid-level in the southern Interior, has been well ahead of schedule while the bulletin warns that limited runoff across Vancouver Island, the south coast and Lower Fraser regions could create low flow issues in rivers this summer.
It also flags the well-below normal snowpack in the northwest and Stikine regions as an indication for the potential for low seasonal runoff.