2013 Fraser River Freshet Information

Link to Provincial Forecasts:  http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/bulletins/freshet.htm

May 13, 2013:

River levels are expected to continue to rise this week.  The River Forecast Centre has issued a High Streamflow Advisory for the Lower Fraser River.  The flow at Hope may reach 11,500 cubic metres/second by Thursday, which would be approaching the peak in 2012 (last year, the peak flow at Hope was close to 12,000 cubic metres per second, with a peak water level at Mission Gauge of 6.4m).  Due to the current cooling trend, levels are expected to peak on Friday or Saturday of this week.

The Mission Gauge is currently approaching 5.5m.  The City has been monitoring local conditions and is commencing activities as per the Flood Response Plan, including regular dyke patrols.  Based on the forecast flows, some localized flooding outside the dyke system is anticipated this week, and local road closures are possible.  Alerts for specific areas outside the dyke system will be issued as warranted.

May 9, 2013:

Recent hot weather has initiated snowmelt throughout the Fraser River watershed.  River levels have started to rise, but the River Forecast Centre has not issued any High Streamflow Advisories or Flood Warnings for the Fraser River.

Based on the most recent 5-day flow forecast, the Fraser River at Mission may be in the 4.5m to 5.0m range by early next week. Last year's peak was 6.4m at the Mission Gauge.

The City will continue to monitor water levels and forecasts and will provide updates as warranted.

April 16, 2013:

Fraser River Freshet Outlook was presented to Council. 

Overall snowpack for the Fraser River basin is 100% of normal as of April 1st; much lower than last year's snowpack, which was over 130% of normal.

Expected peak this year (assuming relatively normal spring runoff conditions) is 8,700 cubic metres per second at Hope.  This would result in water levels in the order of 5.5m at the Mission Gauge.

According to the River Forecast Centre, there is only about a 5% chance of water levels reaching last year’s peak, and less than 1% chance of experiencing a repeat of the 1948 flood event.  

The  peak will depend on the weather during May and June and higher than average flows will occur if there is delayed snowmelt followed by a sudden hot spell or if widespread heavy rainfall coincides with peak snowmelt.

Description Date File Size
Fraser River Freshet Council Update - April 16 2013-05-09 790KB