By early April, nearly 95% of the annual BC snowpack has typically accumulated. Peak provincial snow pack usually occurs in mid-April. Current short and medium range weather forecasts suggest that significant changes to the current snow pack are unlikely. Cooler weather over the next few weeks may delay the onset of melt, which can increase flood risks as more snow melts into May and June. Warmer temperatures into the Easter weekend is expected to bring the onset of the freshet season with low elevation snow melt and the start of rising streamflow, particularly in smaller creeks and low elevation areas.
While snowpack is one risk factor for freshet flooding, snowpack alone cannot predict whether flooding will occur or not. Spring weather is also a critical flood risk factor, where the timing and severity of temperature and rainfall patterns are important drivers of flooding irrespective of snowpack levels. Spring freshet poses a seasonal risk across the BC Interior.
Scenarios that could exacerbate flood risk this year include prolonged cool weather followed by a rapid shift to persistent hot weather (particularly in May), or persistent wet weather or extreme short-term rainfall. Favourable scenarios would include continued dry weather and seasonal temperatures.