Mixed weather through February has led to on-going development of the province’s snowpack.
The provincial average of snow measurements is 111 per cent of normal, a slight increase from 110 per cent of normal on February 1. The snow basin index for the Fraser River is 117 per cent, with high snow pack levels in its major tributaries. Both the Upper Fraser West and Upper Fraser East areas have snowpacks 135 per cent of normal while the Nechako is at 104 per cent of normal.
Seasonal flood risk is elevated in many regions across the province, including the Upper Fraser West, Upper Fraser East, North Thompson, South Thompson, West Kootenay, Boundary, Central Coast and Skagit.
The Peace snowpack is at 119 per cent of normal. The Skeena-Nass snowpack is at 93 per cent, the Stikine at 104 per cent, the Liard 84 per cent, and the Northwest at 100 per cent.
Typically, 80 per cent of the annual snow accumulation has occurred by March 1, with another four to eight weeks of snow accumulation still to come. While changes to the overall provincial seasonal flood risk are possible over the next few months (either increases or decreases), current trends in snowpack are likely to persist.
Snowpack is one element of seasonal flood risk in B.C., however snowpack alone does not predict whether flooding will occur; spring weather is a critical factor determining the rate that snow melts, while extreme rainfall can also cause spring flooding independent of snow conditions.