Snow basin indices across southern B.C. River Forecast Centre file.

Snow basin indices across southern B.C. River Forecast Centre file.

Kootenay snow packs near normal range

River Forecast Centre releases latest snow pack measurements

January began with several storm fronts, but the latter half of the month was quite dry, leading to limited snow accumulation. But the province still had a slightly above normal snow pack as of February 1, 2021, says the BC River Forecast Centre.

The West Kootenay snow pack sits at 107 per cent of normal and the East Kootenay at 101 per cent.

Seasonal weather forecasts from January 31, 2021 by Environment and Climate Change Canada indicate an increased likelihood of colder than normal temperatures from February through April for the northern half of the province, and near normal temperatures for the southern portion of B.C., once the current cold snap is over.

There is an increased likelihood of higher than normal precipitation for the entire province from February through April.

As of this bulletin, the forecast centre says there could be an elevated risk for freshet-related flooding.

However, seasonal snow packs can change significantly, given that there are several months of snow accumulation left. Snow pack is also only one factor related to freshet flood risk. Weather conditions from April through June determine the timing and rate of snow melt, and heavy rainfall events can exacerbate the situation. Flooding is possible in years with normal, or even below-normal, snow pack. Conversely, high snow pack does not typically lead to flooding without significant contributing weather during the snow melt season.