Flood fears ease with dry weather

With earlier melting of this year's snowpack and drier weather forecast, officials are less concerned about flooding in the coming weeks.

Snowmelt in the Okanagan is nearly a month ahead of last year, when it was delayed by a cold, wet spring, and emergency officials are breathing a sigh of relief.

As melting snow runs off into the valley bottom at a slow, steady rate, there’s less likelihood of more flooding, particularly as long as there aren’t heavy rainstorms.

In his early June snow survey bulletin, David Campbell, head of the province’s River Forecast Centre, says because of a rapid melt in early May with hot weather, the flood risk from snowmelt has eased earlier in the Okanagan.

Normally, he notes, the peak occurs later in the season, but this year it’s a couple of weeks earlier than usual—but that also means that summer low flow periods are also expected to occur earlier than normal, he adds.

Although the month of May began hotter than usual, it ended with three weeks of rainier than usual weather.

The next week or so is forecast to be sunny, warm and dry, without any more rain that could be expected to result in excessive runoff.

Mission Creek is still running high but it peaked May 23 and has remained below that level of flow ever since.

Boaters are warned to be alert for floating debris in Okanagan Lake as high runoff this year carried more logs and branches into the lake than usual.

 

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

 

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