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Snowpack 39 per cent of normal across B.C.

Snow basin indices for June 1 have continued to drop significantly as a result of warm temperatures and rapid snowmelt.

Snow basin indices for June 1 range from a low of one per cent of normal to a high of 73 per cent in the Upper Columbia with the average of all snow measurements across the province calculated to be 39 per cent of normal, according to monthly data released by the Ministry of Environment.

Snowpack is extremely low (<50 per cent of normal) in most areas of the province. By June 1, extremely low per cent of normal values can be affected by early snowmelt. This year, low June 1 snowpack reflects melt that is one to three weeks ahead of normal for most areas. This is the result of an early start of the melt season at low elevations from warm weather in late March, and generally lower than normal seasonal snow accumulations (for example the average of April 1 snow water equivalent measurements was 79 per cent of normal).

In most areas of the province, this year’s June 1 snowpack is similar to conditions that were experienced in 2015 and 2016; both years with early melt. By early-June generally 40 per cent of the accumulated seasonal snowpack in B.C. has melted. Early melt this season has meant that most sites have melted between 55-100 per cent of their snowpack as of current conditions.

Mid-elevation areas are now snow-free (approximately 1200-1400m in coastal B.C., below 1500-1600m in southern B.C. and below 1300-1400m in northern B.C.).

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