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B.C. snowpack levels slightly below normal

Temperatures in March were below normal across British Columbia ranging from -0.2 ºC to -3.8ºC for the month, according to the River Forecast Centre. The coldest relative anomalies occurred in northern and interior regions, like Fort St John, Prince George, Quesnel and Williams Lake.

March was very dry throughout B.C. Only a few climate stations in coastal locations measured above 50 per cent of normal precipitation for the month. Several stations ranked among the five lowest March precipitation totals in recorded history. These include Abbotsford, Penticton, Vernon, Quesnel, Kamloops, Prince Rupert, Terrace and Dease Lake.

Temperatures have been seasonal to below seasonal through the first 10 days of April. Several storms have impacted the province this month, so far. A weak atmospheric river impacted the South Coast and Vancouver Island on April 9.


Snow Basin Indices (SBI) for April  range from a low of 73 per cent of normal in the Skagit to a high of 120 per cent in the Boundary. Sub-basins within the Middle Fraser ranged even more widely, with the Bridge region measuring 68 per cent of normal and the Chilcotin at 241 per cent. The provincial snow pack is slightly below normal for April 1, with the average of all snow measurements across B.C. at 88 per cent, decreasing from 94 per cent of normal on March 1 due to dry conditions during the month.

In general, most regions in the province are slightly below normal (80-100 per cent of normal) for

April 1. Above normal snow pack was measured in the following basins in the Interior, the Upper Fraser West (111 per cent), Okanagan (113 per cent), Boundary (120 per cent), and sub-basins of the Middle Fraser – Quesnel (103 per cent), Chilcotin (241 per cent) and Lower Thompson (131 per cent)

Areas with below normal snow pack (<80 per cent of normal) include the Stikine (77 per cent), Vancouver Island (76 per cent), Skagit (73 per cent) and the Bridge sub- basin of the Middle Fraser (68 per cent).

The average of all snow measurements for the entire Fraser River basin (e.g., upstream of the

Lower Mainland and inclusive of Upper Fraser West, Upper Fraser East, Nechako, Middle Fraser, Lower Fraser, North Thompson and South Thompson) is 87 per cent, decreasing from 94 per cent on March 1.

Last year, the average of all snow stations in British Columbia for April 1 was 99 per cent of

normal. Most snow basins are lower this year compared to last year. Notable exceptions include the Upper Fraser West (+18 percentage points compared to 2022), Lower Thompson (+48), Chilcotin (+169), Boundary (+33), Okanagan (+39), and Nicola (+40)

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