The West Kootenay snowpack is at 100 per cent of normal, while the East Kootenay is the lowest in the province at 93 per cent. Bulletin file.

The West Kootenay snowpack is at 100 per cent of normal, while the East Kootenay is the lowest in the province at 93 per cent. Bulletin file.

Kootenay snowpacks lower after dry March

Most of the year’s snowpack has accumulated by mid-April

The East Kootenay has the lowest snowpack in the province at 93 per cent of normal, while the West Kootenay is right at 100 per cent in the latest snow pack information provided by the BC River Forecast Centre.

This data is as of the latest measures on April 1, 2021.

By early April approximately 95 per cent of the provinces snow pack has been accumulated.

While the central coast, north coast, Nechako and Skeena/Nass areas were wetter than normal, the Southern Interior, including the Kootenays, had 40 per cent less precipitation than normal in March, which has led to the decrease in snow packs. Last month the East Kootenay was at 106 per cent and the west 110.

The average of all snowpacks across the province fell slightly.

As for the weather, after a cool weekend, a major change is coming next week with a high-pressure ridge will bring much warmer temperatures across the province. This will kick start the snow melt at lower and mid-elevations, which comes with corresponding rises in streamflow, particularly in smaller creeks and low elevation areas.

Snowpack alone cannot predict whether flooding will occur or not, the report says.

“Spring weather is also critical, where the timing and severity of temperature and rainfall patterns are important drivers of flooding irrespective of snowpack. 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.”

READ: Snow packs in the Kootenays remain close to normal.

READ: Kootenay snow packs near normal range



carolyn.grant@kimberleybulletin.com

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