Only high elevation snow remains as snow has melted from middle levels

By on June 26, 2014
The Zosel Dam at Oroville, WA is operated to control the level of Osoyoos Lake during the summer. During flooding season, however, all its gates are pulled out of the water and the dam doesn’t affect lake levels. When the Similkameen River is high, water can actually back up at the dam. (Richard McGuire file photo)

The Zosel Dam at Oroville, WA is operated to control the level of Osoyoos Lake during the summer. During flooding season, however, all its gates are pulled out of the water and the dam doesn’t affect lake levels. When the Similkameen River is high, water can actually back up at the dam. (Richard McGuire file photo)

Snowpack is still above normal at higher elevations in the Okanagan and Similkameen river basins, but snow at middle elevations has mostly melted.

That’s the summary of conditions outlined in the final Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin issued by the B.C. River Forecast Centre for this year. The bulletin was released June 23.

High elevation sites are those above 1500 metres in elevation and snow pillows there still have 20 to 60 per cent of the season’s snow pack remaining.

“Snow packs have now diminished to the level that flood risk due to snowmelt is now unlikely across the province,” the report said. “Flood risk due to extreme rainfall remains a possibility.”

Seasonal forecasts from Environment Canada still show an increased likelihood of above-normal temperatures across B.C., particularly in the south and southwest parts of the province.

As of Thursday, the level of Osoyoos Lake was 911.72 feet above sea level. This is slightly above the summer target of 911.50 feet that the State of Washington intends to follow, but is well within the mandated maximum for the post-flood summer season of 912 feet.

RICHARD McGUIRE

Osoyoos Times

 

 

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