Snowpack levels at 96 per cent in Thompson River basins Apr. 1

River Forecast Centre released its Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin on April 1

The River Forecast Centre released its Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin on April 1.

In regards to snowpack levels the report notes that despite the warmer weather, wet conditions led to seasonal snow pack growth across most of the province through March.

In Northern B.C., many basins experienced a drop in basin index values since last month, and in the Okanagan and Boundary, basin index values increased.

In general, snow basin indices are near normal (80-120%) across the province, with a provincial average of 91%. Below normal indices (65-80%) are present in the Upper Fraser West, Upper Fraser East, Nechako, and Skeena-Nass, and well belownormal (65%) in the Central Coast, Stikine, North-west, Liard and Skagit.

Well above normal snow packs(120%) are present in the Okanagan. Lower snowpack in the Upper Fraser is offset by slightly higher than normal snow packs in the Thompson River basin, and the overall Fraser River basin index is 96%.

Due to warm weather throughout the winter, low to mid elevation snow packs across the province are greatly diminished this season. While the provincial average for all April 1st surveys is 91% of normal, the average for sites below 1200m elevation is 62% of normal, and just 44% of normal for sites below 1000m.

Warm weather towards the end of March and in early April has led to the onset of the melt season across the province. All of the provincial automated snow weather stations have recorded melt over the past week, as well as a number of manual surveys which experienced a loss of snow water equivalent between the March 1 and April 1 surveys.

The transition from snow accumulation to snow melt is two to three weeks earlier than usual this season.

The April 1st snow survey included ata from 146 snow courses and 63 automated snow stations around the province and climate data from Environment Canada used to form the basis for the report.

The full version of the bulletin including text, data, and basin index map can be viewed at the River Forecast Centre web site: http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/bulletins/watersupply/current.htm