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Summerland snowpack significantly higher than normal

May 1 measurements show Summerland Reservoir is at 189% of historical average
While snow has melted in the valley bottoms, there is still significant snow at Summerland’s two measurement sites west of the community. (Black Press file photo)

The snow levels west of Summerland are significantly higher than normal, according to the latest snow data.

The May 1 measurements for Summerland Reservoir showed a snow depth of 530 millimetres, or the equivalent of 190 millimetres of water. This is 174 per cent of the historical average of 190 millimetres for May 1, based on 60 years of measurement data.

At Isintok Lake, the May 1 snow depth was 590 millimetres, or the equivalent of 166 millimetres of water. This is 130 per cent of the historical average of 128 millimetres, measured over 58 years.

READ ALSO: Province issues high streamflow advisory for Southern Interior

READ ALSO: Snow levels below normal in most of B.C.

Snow measurements at the two sites are taken at the beginning of each month, beginning Jan. 1. In May and June, the measurements are taken twice a month until the snow has melted.

So far this year, both Summerland sites have had measurements above the historical averages.

The Jan. 1 levels showed Summerland Reservoir was at 189 per cent of the historical average, while Isintok Lake was at 151 per cent of the historical average.

The melting snow fills Summerland’s reservoirs. However, if temperatures warm suddenly, there is a risk of flooding.

In late April, the BC River Forecast Centre issued a high streamflow advisory for the Upper Fraser, Middle Fraser and portions of the Southern Interior. The warning came after meteorologists were calling for a sudden rise in temperatures in these areas.

While Summerland’s snow measurements have been higher than normal, most of British Columbia has had snow levels below normal levels. The April 1 Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin — the most recent provincial figures available — showed the average of all sites across the province was at 88 per cent of normal levels. The Upper Fraser West region and the Boundary, Okanagan and Nicola Regions were the only areas in the province with above-normal snow levels.

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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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