Historic snowpack melt anticipated for the Cariboo region
Quesnel River (MyCaribooNow-staff)
We are on the verge of experiencing one of the slowest snowpack melts in the Cariboo region, certainly in recent history, according to the BC River Forecast Centre.
Hydrologist Jonathan Boyd says it has definitely been delayed…
“It’s not quite the most delayed melt in history but a lot of those upper Fraser east and Yanks Peak are getting pretty close, and all it’s going to take is maybe seven more days of cooler temperatures, and we may be in position to say that this is one of the most delayed its been in the last 20 or 30 years for melts.”
Boyd says because those snowpacks at upper elevations haven’t melted there is still the risk of flooding along the Quesnel and Fraser Rivers however…
“We did have a significant rise in the first couple of days of June for the Fraser River upstream of Prince George but by no means is that likely the last one, and part of that is just the temperatures have subsided and the rain has diminished a little bit. That could change.”
Boyd says the snowpack at Yanks Peak remains extremely high…
“It gets a little bit silly because we’re at the point where the normal is dropping so low, so in terms of the overall flood risk for a year the May 1st or April 1st values would be a little bit better. Yanks peak on May 1st, it was around 140 percent of normal, and about 145 percent of normal for April 1st. Right now Yanks Peak is at 254 percent of normal.”
Boyd says about 44 percent of the snowpack at Yanks Peak has melted.
He says the flood watch that was in place for the Quesnel River is now a high streamflow advisory, and the high streamflow advisory for the Fraser River has been lifted.