Flood and high streamflow advisories throughout the North

A high streamflow advisory remains in effect in the Prince George area, including the Chilako River, Salmon River and surrounding tributaries.

There is a flood warning for the Bulkley River, including tributaries around Houston, Smithers and adjacent areas. A flood watch is in effect  for the Nautley River and Nechako River including tributaries and lake levels around Burns Lake, Francois Lake, Vanderhoof and surrounding areas. A flood watch is also in effect for the Dean River. A high streamflow advisory is in effect for the Nazko and West Road River.

These alerts will be updated on Monday. Temperatures are generally expected to rise over the weekend and into next week, and increased snow melt is expected over this period.  Watersheds with extensive snow pack will increase water levels again early next week.

Snowpack

Snow basin indices for May 1, 2018 range from a low of 69 per cent of normal in the Stikine to a high of 264 per cent in Upper Fraser West.

Overall, the province has well above normal snow pack for May 1. The average of all snow measurements across the province is 168 per cent of normal, increasing significantly from 127 per cent of normal on April 1. Of the 222 snow measurements taken for the May 1 survey period, 60 locations exceeded their previously recorded maximum May 1 values.

High snow basin indices reflect actual increases in snow water amounts over the past months in many locations. However, it is important to note that, particularly in areas which typically experience significant melt between April and May, extremely high basin index values can be reflecting the greater difference between current conditions and what would normally be a melting snow pack. Therefore, snow basin index values are enhanced when there is a delay in the melt season.

Extremely high snow packs (>150 per cent) are present in the Upper Fraser West, Nicola, Okanagan, Similkameen, Boundary, Skagit, West Kootenay, East Kootenay. The May 1 snow index for the Okanagan is 206 per cent of normal, which is the highest observed snow pack dating back to 1980. While many snow basin index values increased by 50 per cent or more since April 1, the amount of increase in snow water content over this period has been more in the 5-16 per cent range for most basins. In the Liard basin, the high basin value represents a delay in the melt season rather than high seasonal snowpack.