There is still snow in higher elevations in the Kootenays, although the freshet has begun. Carolyn Grant file

There is still snow in higher elevations in the Kootenays, although the freshet has begun. Carolyn Grant file

Plenty of high elevation snow still to melt in the Kootenays

BC River Forecast Centre issues monthly snowpack report

The BC River Forecast Centre is now reporting data collected from the June 1 snow survey.

Snow packs in the West and East Kootenay are at 83 and 80 per cent of normal respectively. A below normal snowpack at this time of year is usually indicative of an early melt.

While a very warm week to begin June spurred some flooding and high river flows, the general weather forecast for the coming week is relatively cool and wet.

On average by June 1 almost half of the accumulated snowpack has melted.

“Due to several periods of very warm temperatures during spring, snowmelt rate has been slightly higher than normal this year. The overall snowpack at all automated snow weather stations has dropped 60 per cent by June 1st from the peak snow accumulation. Lower and mid-elevation areas are primarily snow-free and high elevation snowpack is melting,” the report says.

Snowmelt measurements from automated snow weather stations during the first week of June indicate extremely rapid melt from very warm temperatures and/or heavy rain on melting snow. Over the weekend of June 5-6, a rapid drop in temperatures resulted in a light dusting of snow at many automated snow weather stations.

The report also says that seasonal flood risk from snowmelt alone has dissipated, but many of the regions that reached high flows over the past week are vulnerable to heavy rainfall.

Areas like the East and West Kootenay still have higher elevation snow although the melt is underway.

READ MORE: Kootenay snow packs near normal range

READ MORE: Kootenay snowpacks lower after dry March



carolyn.grant@kimberleybulletin.com

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