2015 Fraser River Freshet Information
Link to Provincial Forecasts: http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/bulletins/freshet.htm
Provincial River Outlook Issued:
May 15, 2015
Warm weather through early May has led to rapid snow melt across the province. Most snow survey locations across the province experienced 50-200 mm of snow water equivalent loss over the May 1st to May 15th period. Current melt rates at snow pillows range from 5-25mm/day through most of the province, with some regions experiencing up to 30-40mm/day of melt.
Most regions of the province have extremely low May 15th snow basin indices (<49% of normal) (Figure 1). This includes the Middle Fraser, Lower Fraser, East Kootenay, Okanagan, Similkameen, South Coast, Vancouver Island and Peace. Below normal snow basin indices (50-79%) are present in the Boundary, South Thompson, West Kootenay and Stikine. Slightly below normal (80-89%) basin indices are present in the North Thompson, Upper Columbia, and Central Coast. Near normal (90-109%) snow basin indices are present in the Upper Fraser and Skeena-Nass basins. Above normal (>120%) snow pack conditions are present in the Nechako basin.
The average of all provincial snow water equivalent measurements for May 15th is 60% of average conditions. This is the lowest province-wide average for the May 15th bulletin in the past 31 years of record.
The extremely low snow pack this season is the result of warm winter and spring temperatures that have led to a higher than normal portion of the winter precipitation falling as rain rather than snow and high rates of early season melt.