Cooler weather leads to persistent snowpacks

Similkameen snowpack higher than normal, but flood threat is not forecast


Cool and dry conditions were present throughout most the province through May. Province-wide, temperatures were 0.5 to 1.0 C below normal.

Very dry conditions were present through the Interior, Kootenay and Columbia regions. At the end of May, weather across the province transitioned into a persistent wetter pattern.


The cooler weather through May led to a delay in the onset of snow melt by two to three weeks. By June 1, the snow melt season was proceeding steadily, and notable melt has occurred since the May 15 survey.  Significant snow packs are still present at high elevations across the province, with above average to well above average snow basin indices in all regions except the Middle Fraser and Okanagan. The delay in snow melt season, particularly in high elevation locations, has led to an increase from May 15 snow basin index values in the Upper Fraser, Nechako, North Thompson, Similkameen, South Coast, Peace and Skeena-Nass (Map 1). Since the June 1 manual surveys were completed, significant additional snow melt has been observed at automated snow pillow stations, so it is likely that similar additional snow melt has occurred at the manual snow survey sites.

The Similkameen basin snowpack level is currently 183 per cent of normal as a result of the cooler spring weather.


The River Forecast Centre continues to monitor snow and weather conditions across the province and when conditions warrant, provides advisories through media releases and on the River Forecast Centre website:  The June 15 snow bulletin is expected to be released on or before June 25, 2012.