B.C. Snowpack Hits Record Low For May

Keenan Grady | FireFire | WeatherWeather
there is only half as much snow as usual in B.C. this May
there is only half as much snow as usual in B.C. this May

Summer hit B.C. hard and early this year.  With warmer temperatures and below average snowfall, this year’s snowpack is looking meager.  The provincial snowfall average was only 53% of normal this year- which is the lowest level since 1980 when record-keeping began.  

 

Hydrologist Tobi Gardner of the River Forecast Center comments on the snowpack, “Basically the North just didn’t get a lot of snow this year…Province-wide, it’s been a warm winter and a very warm spring….that really chewed away at the snowpack through April.”

the snowpack as of May 1st in British Columbia
the snowpack as of May 1st in British Columbia

If this dry weather continues, B.C. might be en route to a drought this summer combined with a high danger for forest fire.  Current weather suggests that cooler, wetter weather is on the way for the next few weeks.


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3 thoughts on “B.C. Snowpack Hits Record Low For May

  1. Snowfall at B.C. ski areas was ~117% of average at the end of March. The ski areas are nearly all in the southern third of that map, which is less extreme in current low snowpack than the rest of the province.

    But no question April has seen negligible new snow in B.C. and it’s been warm, melting out the snowpack prematurely. I believe season (Nov-Apr) snowfall at many B.C. ski areas will still be above average, far above average at the most favored areas like Big White and Sun Peaks.

    All of western North America saw a premature warm and dry spring during the first half of April. Since then intermittent snow has returned to CA, UT and particularly Colorado.

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