Snowpack dangerously low

Record-breaking temperatures throughout the month of April have resulted in a lower than normal snowpack on Okanagan mountains.

The latest monthly figures released by the River Forecast Centre show the remaining snowpack is 26 per cent of normal. Figures are as of June 1.

The provincial average is 23 per cent, a record low for this time of year, based on data going back to 1980.

Current snowpack conditions are more typical of late-June or early-July conditions.

With the earlier than normal runoff, most rivers and creeks in the province have reached their peak flow for the season, barring an extreme rainfall event over the next four weeks.

The advanced freshet is also expected to put pressure on summer low flows in snow-melt dominated rivers across the province.

In many of the smaller and low- to mid-elevation watersheds of the province, including the Central and Southern Interior, the transition to seasonally lower than normal flows has begun, and the trend is expected to expand to larger watersheds over the next few weeks.

The influence of the snowmelt season occurring about a month early this year is expected to continue through the summer.

Conditions are now as bad as they were a year ago when the province issued a Level 4 drought rating to much of the province.

The final snowmelt report of the season will be issued June 23.

More Kelowna News