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Snowpack below normal in Okanagan

Provincial figures also show high levels in northwest B.C. and near Golden
The snow pack in the Okanagan Valley is below normal, according to data from provincial measurements. (B.C. River Forecast Centre)

Conditions in the Okanagan Valley are drier than usual according to the latest snowpack statistics compiles by the province.

The April 1 Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin compiles data from 126 manual snow courses and 88 automated snow weather stations across the province.

Provincewide, the snowpack measurements from April 1 were near normal. The latest measurements were 99 per cent of normal on the latest readings, down from 105 per cent of normal shown in the March 1 readings.

READ ALSO: Summerland’s April 1 snow pack levels near normal

READ ALSO: Snow levels below normal in Okanagan and Boundary regions

However, there is variation within the province, with snow measurements ranging from 72 per cent of normal to 134 per cent of normal.

In the Okanagan, the April 1 snowpack was 74 per cent of normal, down from 86 per cent of normal a month earlier.

The Boundary region also showed a decline, at 87 per cent of normal, down from 91 per cent of normal on March 1.

In the Similkameen, the snowpack was 94 per cent of normal, down from 100 per cent of normal.

Other areas significantly below normal include Vancouver Island at 74 per cent of normal snowpack and Chilcotin at 72 per cent of normal.

The Upper Columbia area, which includes Revelstoke and Golden, is at 115 per cent of normal, and the northwest part of the province is at 134 per cent of normal levels.

By early April, nearly 95 per cent of the province’s snowpack has accumulated.

Because of the near-normal snow levels and La Nina weather conditions forecast for this spring, there is a slightly elevated risk of freshet-related flooding this spring, according to the River Forecast Centre.

However, the snowpack is only one factor affecting the risk of spring floods.

Spring weather conditions will affect the risk of flooding. A lengthy cold period followed by a sudden extreme heatwave could result in flooding, especially if additional rain follows.

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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