Water level rise reflects large spring snowmelt runoff, rain

A steady rise in the level of Okanagan Lake is expected to continue at least until the weekend, as high elevation snow continues to melt—and the occasional rain shower only adds to the volume coming down local creeks.

A steady rise in the level of Okanagan Lake is expected to continue at least until the weekend, as high elevation snow continues to melt—and the occasional rain shower only adds to the volume coming down local creeks.

Dave Campbell of the River Forecast Centre in Victoria says the big lake was rising at about a rate of two centimetres a day, but that has begun to slow as lower elevation snow melt finishes.

The lake is about seven centimetres above what’s called full pool, or the optimum operating level for the lake.

Really hot or wet weather could result in a rise in the flows in Mission Creek, which drains a very large, high-elevation watershed, he noted.

Early in the week, 60 per cent of the peak snowpack high in that watershed remained to melt and run off because of the late spring, and it was melting at a rate of about 20 millimetres a day.

Environment Canada meteorologist David Jones said showers in the past week have resulted in a total of about six millimetres of rain, and there’s been 22 mm so far this month.

Nearly half of that fell on one day, June 7, when 10 mm fell.

In the coming week, he forecasts a continued pattern of showery weather, with no significant rainfall events, similar to the past week.

Temperatures are expected to remain about the same until Monday or Tuesday when warmer weather is expected and a rise to daytime highs in the low 30s C are forecast, he said.

With high water, lakeshore property owners are being advised to take action to minimize impacts to their property and docks from high lake levels and wave action.

Boaters are warned to beware of logs and other debris that has washed into the lakes as a result of the high runoff this year.

Phase II of the Mission Creek Greenway has been re-opened for public use, and crews have repaired some minor washouts due to flooding, and have sandbagged in several areas to protect the recreational trail.

It can be accessed from Phase I, or from the Hollywood Road south or Field Road entrances.

However, the trail underpasses at both Casorso Road and the south side of Gordon Drive bridge are still both closed.

Greenway users are warned to use caution and stay away from the creek’s banks.

 

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

 

Kelowna Capital News