Bella Coola is expected to be the hottest spot in the province today as temperatures are predicted to soar to 18 C. 32 temperature records were broken across the province on Monday. In Chilliwack, a 122-year-old record of 20 C set in 1896 fell with the mercury reaching 22.8 C.
The warm weather will continue as a strong ridge of high pressure remains in place over B.C., and more records are expected to be broken as temperatures on the South Coast reach into the high teens and low 20s, a good 7-10 C above the seasonal norm.
Despite the low snowpack, the hot weather has many in the province concerned about spring flooding. Currently, the snowpack in southern B.C. is below normal levels. Boundary Country is sitting at 60 per cent of normal snowpack levels, while the figure for the West Kootenay is 90 per cent.
Though flooding is always a concern in the spring, there are no alarm bells going off yet, according to Dave Campbell, head of the province’s River Forecast Centre.
On the flip side, melt-off that disappears too fast or too little winter precipitation can lead to drought problems later in the year. The dry conditions of the last few years and a low snowpack this year are areas of concern to keep an eye on, Campbell said, but it’s too early to predict anything for sure yet.
“As we watch over the next couple months how the snow melts down, if it’s melting down early, then that could put more pressure later in the summer,” he said.