B.C. flood watch to intensify over next week

Heat wave speeding up snowmelt process

A unusually warm spring heat wave is raising flood warning concerns across the Okanagan and Shuswap regions over the next week, according to the B.C. River Forecast Centre.

Dave Campbell, head of the forecast centre, says the snow melting has been accelerated by temperatures trending six to eight degrees above the normal average, mixed with the potential for the heat to be briefly interrupted by rain later this week.

Related: Temperature soar to record-breaking heights in Kelowan, Vernon

“The weather will be critical over the few weeks,” Campbell explained. “There is a strong high pressure surge right now will a small potential disturbance that will generate rain leading into the long weekend, but that high pressure system is expected to rebuild and be more prolonged leading into next week.”

Campbell said in the South Okanagan, the rising Similkameen River is causing flooding headache, with a new peak level expected to be reached within the next three to five days.

He said flow projections of 800 cubic metres a second are anticipated for the peak freshet period, having already reached 600.

Related: Provincial aid for flood victims

“How high it goes will depend on a couple of pieces. One is how much snow at the higher elevation melts as from the snow perspective at some point that process will run out of gas, and what uncertainty the weather might bring through this week, as getting more rain will bump things up again,” he said.

Campbell said the Central and North Okanagan regions haven’t dodged a flood bullet yet, noting the mid-snow levels, 1,500 to 2,000 feet, are about two-thirds melted while the higher elevations above that are about 10 to 20 per cent melted.

“I think it would be premature to talk about dodging a bullet. Uncertainty over all rivers in the region right now makes them extremely vulnerable to flooding at this stage. The Mission Creek system and some around Vernon are very much in a transition period so we’ll find out more about the risk factor as that high elevation snow starts to melt at a higher rate,” he said.

Campbell added the Salmon River in the Shuswap, like the Similkameen, is another river that has already seen some peaks and valleys in its freshet enhanced flows.

“I think (the Salmon River) is one of those rivers where we have seen it peak, have seen it come down a bit, and now we are seeing it rise again. With a further warming trend the next four to seven days will be critical. If we get through that, then we should start to see improving conditions.”

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@BarryGerding
barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Emergency management top priority for CCRD

MOU will be the first of its kind in B.C.

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

First residents move into Nuxalk Nation’s tiny homes

Four of the tiny homes are now complete and residents have moved in

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Man wanted for sex trafficking, confinement may be heading to B.C.

Kevin Myrthil, 26, is also accused of assault on a 19-year-old woman at an Edmonton hotel

Most Read