Low Snowpack Levels Raise Drought Concerns -- But River Forecast Centre Says Things Could Change

John Crawford

Spring snowpack levels across the province are abnormally low for mid-May -- but the head of the BC River Forecast Centre says it's a bit premature to talk about drought.

Dave Campbell says here in the northwest, the most recent readings show a snowpack level in the Skeena-Nass watershed at only about 56 per cent of normal -- and the Neckako basin is at 52 per cent.

He says that's certainly abnormal -- but things could change.

"We came into the season with fairly low snowpacks and what we've really seen over the last few weeks or so is that snowmelt starting to really crank up and we're seeing quite an early melt and so we've got for the May 15th readings, a snowpack that's quite low throughout the northwest, resulting from that low to start with and then early melt."

Campbell says if we get significant rainfall in the next month or so, it will alleviate the problem -- but the potential for drought is certainly there.

The positive news is that the risk of flooding is very low.

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