Okanagan 129% 2nd highest in province
Lowest 87% Skeena
Average in BC 110%
Persistent wet weather through January has led to rapid growth of the province’s snowpack. The provincial average of snow measurements is 110% of normal, up from 84% of normal on January 1st, 2020. The snow basin index for the Fraser River is 113%. Increased seasonal flood risk conditions are developing in many regions, including the Upper Fraser – West, South Thompson, West Kootenay, Okanagan and Boundary. Typically, two-thirds of the annual snow accumulation has occurred by February 1st, with the final third accumulating from February to April. While changes to the overall provincial seasonal flood risk are possible over the next few months (either increases or decreases), current trends in snowpack are likely to persist.
For snow-melt dominated rivers in the interior of the province, the likelihood of spring flooding increases with high snowpacks; this is most pronounced when snow basin index values approach or exceed 120%. This does not mean that spring flooding will occur, rather the chances of flooding are increased. Seasonal flood risk is thus emerging in the Upper Fraser – West, North Thompson, South Thompson, West Kootenay, Okanagan and Boundary with increased snowpack levels.
Picture weather station in the hills to the east of Penticton