High temps will speed up snowmelt

With summer temperatures forecast for this weekend, it's expected local creeks will swell and there could be flooding.

If cooler overnight temperatures continue in the next few days as forecast, it might delay flooding around local streams, but soaring temperatures forecast for the weekend will begin rapid melting of snow at high elevations.

In fact, Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist says a ridge of high pressure returns in the next couple of days, with temperatures as high as 28 C forecast for Sunday, and overnight thawing right up to the tops of the mountains.

With 20 per cent more snow than normal accumulated high in the Mission Creek watershed, there’s a lot of snowmelt still to make its way down streams into Okanagan Lake.

Lundquist says he’s expecting more sun and less cloud with this ridge than early in the week, which means temperatures will be higher and there will be more melting.

Because of a hot spell last week and a day of heavy rain the previous week, local creeks are already higher than normal for this time of year.

Dave Campbell, manager of the provincial River Forecast Centre, expects an advisory about Mission Creek will be issued by the weekend.

Low to mid-elevation snow has largely melted in the past couple of weeks, but the cold nights have slowed runoff from higher elevations.

Flows in Mission Creek jumped up Wednesday, but he expected to see a further change when overnight thawing begins at higher elevations.

The seasonal flow into Okanagan Lake was changed by the single day of rain April 26, when a month’s average rainfall occurred in one day, noted Campbell.

However, overall, the snowpack is not that far off normal, with higher-than-normal amounts on the east side of the lake, but lower amounts on the west side, he said.

Kelowna assistant fire chief Lou Wilde said although the melt is a week or so ahead of last year, weather conditions in the next few days should help keep flows down, but higher temperatures next week could cause some problems.

Residents in low-lying areas and near watercourses should take precautions against flood damage, warns Bruce Smith with the Central Okanagan Regional District.

“Those adjacent to creeks and streams in the Central Okanagan should make annual preparations to protect their properties in the event of rapid snow melt combined with significant rain causing rising water levels,” he said.

Sandbags are available from local firehalls, but residents are responsible for sourcing the sand to fill them.



Just Posted

2014 murder case finally goes to trial

Steven Randy Pirko was charged with second-degree murder in 2016

Flood recovery work set to begin in Kelowna

The first phase of $5 million dollar flood recovery plan for Upper Vernon Creek will begin on Monday

Kelowna exhibition showcases nature of Haida Gwaii

The Kelowna Art Gallery is holding a reception for Gwaii Haanas – Islands and Sacred Sites Friday

Accused in Kelowna murder heads to court

Chad Alphonse is accused of killing Waylon Percy Junior Jackson, back in 2016

Crime Stoppers: Stamping out crime for 31 years

Beginning in Kelowna, Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers has take a big bite out of crime

Dine Around Thompson Okanagan kicks off

Fifty restaurants in the region will participate in this year’s event

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Possible explosive device found in Kamloops home

The RCMP explosive disposal unit from the Lower Mainland was called to neutralize the device

Okanagan Symphony offers taste of Vienna

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra presents Viennese Delights in Jan. 19-21

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Whistler role in potential Calgary Olympic bid would be welcome: IOC

Calgary is mulling whether to vie for the 2026 Games, and could look to facilities in B.C.

Letter: With presidents, the more things change…

Kelowna letter-writer says some things never change

Most Read