There is an increased likelihood of low stream flows this summer as snow pack levels have diminished since last month. Snow basin indices are at historic minimum values (30 years of record) in the Lower Fraser, South Coast and Skagit basins, and near minimum values on Vancouver Island, reports the B.C. River Forecast Centre in their March Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin.
In the East Kootenay snow packs are at 76 per cent of normal, which is considered moderately low.
Temperatures in March were three to five degrees above normal across the province, meaning that much of the precipitation fell as rain rather than snow. Precipitation was below normal in Vancouver Island, South Coast, and the Kootenays. Typically by the end of February, 80 per cent of the season’s snow pack has accumulated.
The River Forecast Centre does not hold out much hope for more snow to fall as the long range forecast indicates weather conditions will remain warmer than normal through May.
In those ares with extremely low snow packs, low flows are expected to occur earlier than normal this year, very low flows can be expected in the summer unless significant rainfall occurs through the spring and summer. That will be lessened somewhat in our area as snow packs are not as low, but low flows can still be expected this summer.