April 1 Snow Report

The trend of below normal snowpacks established early in the snow season this winter continues throughout the province. In spite of above normal precipitation and cooler that normal temperatures during March the snow pack in most of the province remains well below (less than 80%) normal.

The April 1 Snow Bulletin is now published at http://srmwww.gov.bc.ca/aib/wat/rfc/river_forecast/bulletin.htm

The trend of below normal snow packs established early in the snow season this winter continues throughout the province. In spite of above normal precipitation and cooler that normal temperatures during March the snow pack in most of the province remains well below (less than 80%) normal. The attached write-up indicates that the ”Northeast has above normal snow” however the Peace Basin bar-graph indicates that the basin snow pack is at 80% of normal. The Liard Basin bar-graph indicates the basin is only slightly above normal.

OUTLOOK The Middle and Upper Fraser basins, the South Coast, the Nechako, the Bulkley River, the Skeena, the Similkameen, and the North Thompson basins have well below normal (less than 80%) snow packs for April 1st. The remainder of the province has below normal (less than 90%) snow pack. Low elevation snow packs through out the southern half of the province as particularly low. The one exception is the Liard Basin which is reporting slightly above normal snow packs. Assuming normal precipitation and temperatures for the remainder of the spring and early summer, runoff should be below normal in the major river systems in the province during the 2003 freshet period. The risk of flooding, based on accumulated mountain snow packs for April 1st, is LOW throughout the province for this freshet period.

Snowpack Snow water equivalent ”% of normal” ratings have increased significantly all over the province during the last month, as a result of heavier precipitation than usual nearly everywhere. Snowpacks vary considerably from and within regions. The Northeast has above normal snow, with much ofthe remainder of the province in the 70% to 85% of normal range. The central interior plateau has less than half its normal snowpack for April 1.

Throughout much of the southern 2/3 of the province, low elevation snow is much shallower than usual for this time of year. View provincial map of snowpack ”% of April 1 normal SWE” at http://srmwww.gov.bc.ca/aib/wat/rfc/river_forecast/snowpack.htm Weather As indicated by Environment Canada valley bottom weather stations, weather over most of the province has been considerably wetter than the usual March. Driest were the Middle Fraser, with well below normal precipitation, and the Okanagan, with near normal March precipitation. The Peace basin appears to have had nearly triple its usual March precipitation. Temperatures through most of the province have been nearly normal during March. Exceptions are the Okanagan and south coast, which have been slightly warmer than usual, and the northeast, with slightlycolder temperatures than normal this month. Outlook Freshet volumes in the far north may be near to above normal, however they will likely be below normal in most of the rest of the province. Unless the spring and early summer is wetter than usual, the plateau areas of the central interior will have much less runoff than normal.

website http://srmwww.gov.bc.ca/aib/wat/rfc