East Kootenay Snowpack Levels Healthy, But Could Change

Purcell Mountains. (Credit: Mountain Life Magazine)

The BC River Forecast Centre remains cautious about a potentially warm winter and spring, but other agencies say it could go the other way.

The agency has released its second report for the year on snowpack levels across the province.

They are reporting generally healthy levels in most regions, including in southeastern B.C.

As of February 1st, the East Kootenay is at 83% of typical levels, while the West Kootenay is at 92% and the Upper Columbia at 107%. Numbers between 80-110% are considered to be "normal".

The Climate Prediction Centre (CPC) says there is a high likelihood of an El Niño developing for the rest of the winter and into the spring.

This would typically indicate that we could see higher-than-average temperatures leading to lower snowpack levels, although there have been some exceptions in the past.

Environment Canada adds credence to this year being an exception, as their altered forecasts now call for an increased likelihood of colder weather.

At this stage, the BC River Forecast Centre says there are no significant risks to flooding due to the snow accumulations we have seen so far in 2019.

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