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HomeNewsSnowpack nearly 40% below normal province-wide

Snowpack nearly 40% below normal province-wide

The snowpack around the Central Interior was well below normal once again to start the month.

According to the BC River Forecast Centre the snowpack in the Skeena-Nass basin was at 69 per cent of normal for this time of year.

These conditions are being seen across the province as the average snowpack was just 61 per cent of normal province-wide.

“Within any given year, we’ll always have a bit of variability where some regions will be above normal and then there’ll be some at below normal or maybe even one or two well below normal,” BC River Forecast Centre Hydrologist Jonathan Boyd.

“What’s unusual is to have so much of the province well below normal, I’ve never seen anything like that, and even looking back to the last 45 years or so, we haven’t had it this low across the board.”

Boyd added the one positive is the risk of flooding in the spring months is greatly diminished.

“Instead it’s the risks of potentially having the drought be as challenging as it was last year, or even more.”

Much of the province experienced level five drought conditions for at least a brief period last summer.

“We haven’t necessarily seen that recovery through the entire interior,” Boyd said.

“The lingering drought from last year that led into the fall and winter, we haven’t had the precipitation yet to come out of that, and now to have a snowpack even lower than last year, along with El Nino conditions, which often leads to warmer than normal temperatures in the late winter and spring, which can lead to an earlier than normal melt, it does not bode well for the potential implications of drought, or also drought’s more challenging cousin, which is wildfire.”

Boyd added the early indication is we’re continuing a downward trend, because of how dry February has been.

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