Flood risk fades, dry summer more likely in B.C.

B.C. snowpack at record low 23 per cent of normal as of June 1, Fraser River peak flow May 8 was earliest on record

There's still snow in the alpine on Whistler Mountain but average snowpacks are far below normal for this time of year across B.C.

Spring flooding along rivers in B.C. now appears unlikely, but there’s a growing threat that much of the province may be in for another dangerously dry summer.

That’s the indication from the latest measurements posted by B.C.’s River Forecast Centre.

As of June 1, B.C.’s alpine snowpacks were at 23 per cent of normal for that time of year – a record low.

A warmer than normal May caused the snowpack to melt off very rapidly.

“Current snow conditions are more typical of late June or early July,” the forecast centre’s latest bulletin said, resulting in many rivers reaching flow conditions that are three to four weeks ahead of usual.

“Most rivers have likely experienced their peak levels for the year, unless an extreme rainfall event occurs in June or early July,” the bulletin said.

Preliminary data for the Fraser River at Hope shows the river flow peaked at 6,130 cubic metres per second on May 8.

That date is the earliest on record that the lower Fraser has peaked and it’s also the second lowest peak flow on record. Normally the Fraser peaks in mid-June.

Fishery biologists have already sounded a warning that low streamflow conditions could create particularly challenging water conditions for salmon returning to spawn.

June has so far seen cooler temperatures and moderate rainfall.

The forecast centre says below normal stream flows are likely across B.C. this summer if there’s near-normal precipitation for the rest of the spring and summer.

Last year’s severe drought triggered extreme water sprinkling restrictions in the Lower Mainland, as well as angling closures and heightened risk of forest fires across much of the province.

Snowpack levels as of June 1

Just Posted

CMTN unveils renovated House of Cedar

$18.4M upgrade and renovation cited as key to modern trades training

Mobile complaint team coming to B.C.’s northwest

Ombudsperson’s office wants to hear from wronged residents

Bears hyper-focused on feeding

Public urged to remove attractants as bears get ready for hibernation

Kool-Aid Man bails on Terrace and Kitimat mayoral race

Says he has accomplished goal of raising electoral awareness

Cannery Road Race returns with a bang

Approximately 150 people competed in 10 events after one year hiatus

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

‘Summer from hell’: vandals rob Fort St. James community garden following devastating wildfire season

The community rallied to keep the Health Minds Community Garden open in Fort St. James

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Most Read