The cold weather and ongoing snow accumulation this year means Vancouver Island’s snow basin indices are the second highest in 30 years.
There is also about a three week delay in snow melt this year for most areas of the province, said Dave Campbell, head of the River Forecast Centre with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
Snow basin indices are high across the province with a low of 103 per cent of normal in the North Thompson area, to the highest on Vancouver Island at 167 per cent of normal. But these numbers won’t necessarily mean flooding in our area, Campbell said, as it would require many heavy rain or snow events which are more typical of the fall and winter months, he said. Above normal spring runoff is expected however from watersheds that have high snow packs like Sprout Lake, Upper Campbell Lake and Elk River, Campbell said.
The high snow pack generally means good things for Vancouver Island, Campbell explained, like increased water supply and less low-flow worries for fish.
Flood risks in snow melt driven rivers will depend on weather.