Snowpack above normal for Burns Lake region

Basin snow water index map for March 1. (BC River Forecast Centre)

As the snow begins to melt, official assessments of the winter snowpack reveals a mixed bag of results for northern British Columbia.

For the Upper Fraser West basin, which includes Burns Lake, Fort St. James and Vanderhoof, the snowpack is at 106 per cent of the normal level, according to the March 1 data of the BC River Forecast Centre.

However, the Nechako basin – in areas including Tahtsa Lake, Skins Lake and Mount Pondosy – is at 79 per cent of the normal snowpack level.

The Skeena-Nass basin – northwest of Burns Lake and comprising Houston, Smithers and Terrace – is at 82 per cent of the normal level.

For the approaching spring melt, the snowpack level around Burns Lake entails “close to normal runoff for volume and peak flow,” Dave Campbell, head of BC River Forecast Centre told Lakes District News.

The wider implications of those levels, such as possible drier ground and greater risk of wildfires were too early to assess.

“How does the weather pan out after the [spring] melt? That becomes the key determinant. The northwest has seen a lot less precipitation this winter and spring. Once this snow melts we’ll switch into those dry conditions…If this dry persists it doubles up on those impacts,” Campbell explained.

“The piece that’s uncertain is how much rain we’ll get. That can add a fair bit to the runoff.”

Environment Canada forecasts show that precipitation levels for much of northern B.C. are about 40 per cent below normal for March-April-May, and temperatures around the same probability for most of the province for the same period.

Campbell stressed that the April 8 survey should give a clearer picture of the implications of the snowpack, as that sample takes in the peak accumulation of the snow.

The snowpack for March of 2019 is lower than for last March when it was 138 per cent above normal.

By April of last year it went higher, leading to floods in the Burns Lake area when the snow melted.

LOOK BACK: UPDATED: Roads disrupted around Burns Lake as flood warning issued in region

Two years ago it was significantly lower, at 66 per cent in March and 85 per cent in April.

READ MORE: Below-normal snowpack in the Lakes District


Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
Send Blair an email
Like Lakes District News on Facebook

Just Posted

‘It affects everybody:’ Trudeau’s brownface photos worry Wet’suwet’en chief

Skeena-Bulkley Valley Liberal candidate declines to comment on prime minister’s indiscretion

Village might earn $384,000 in camp deal

The Village of Burns Lake is set to receive hundreds of thousands… Continue reading

Helping the Burns Lake community for 13 years

In its 13 years of existence, the Burns Lake and District Community… Continue reading

TV signals restored, rebroadcast society says

Television reception for Burns Lake and Southside residents with regular TVs was… Continue reading

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

Ombusman’s specific concerns re-surface in wake of bus crash that killed two students

Most Read