Orderly snowmelt depends on cool weather

Warmer or wetter weather could cause flooding warns Jason Brolund, Central Okanagan emergency program coordinator.

Cooler weather, despite the rain, have helped to slow the snowmelt and so far there’s been very little flooding in the Kelowna area, reports Jason Brolund, Central Okanagan emergency program coordinator.

Rain earlier in the week varied throughout the area, so overall it hasn’t created much of a spike in the levels of local creeks, he said, and it was a much shorter period of rainfall than last month’s lengthy storm.

However, he says high level snowpack in the Okanagan’s watershed has only just begun to melt and Mission Creek is already at a fairly high level.

“It’s really helped keep things under control, all the work we did last year along with creek at the mouth,” he commented.

Sustained rainfall or a period of warmer temperatures could change the situation, but so far the snow melt has been orderly, commented Brolund.

“We’re watching the lake level because we expect it will be high again this year. The province is doing its best to manage it, but I expect it will rise above full pool again this year,” he added.

Some preliminary planning has been done in the event it rises that high, he said.

A gradual snow melt and showers instead of storms really help to prevent flooding, he noted.

Temperatures in the coming few days are expected to rise, with warm, sunny days; temperatures up to 23 C, and most overnight temperatures above 4 C.

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com