Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Snowpack levels make for concerns for spring floods

It may be a bit too early to tell just yet, but the Northwest may be in for another interesting year of flood levels, perhaps to bring back memories of a few years back when rivers of the Northwest overflowed their banks at record levels.

The Rivers forecast centre posted a look ahead to the spring melt months and with near record amounts of snow currently atop Northwest mountains, the prospect of flooding in the Northwest is something that the centre has its eye on.

The current level of the snowpack is at 139 percent of normal, as a reference for Northwest residents, the snowpack was at 153 percent of normal in 2006-07, which was the year of the major flooding of the Skeena River, leading to major issues along the Highway 16 corridor.

Weather over the next few months will be the determining factor as to the risk of flooding, higher temperatures will speed up the snow melt and precipitation levels through the spring could provide additional concerns for forecasters.

The Terrace Standard explains the various factors being taken into account by the Rivers Forecast Centre as it watches the snowpack and the effect that it may have on communities at ground level.

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