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B.C. flood watch: the snowpack is high in parts, and that means water levels could be too

Click to play video: 'B.C. prepares for possible spring flooding'
B.C. prepares for possible spring flooding
A heavy snowpack in many parts of B.C. has experts worried about spring flooding. Geoff Hastings has the details – Apr 9, 2018

B.C. could be on track for another active fire season.

But first, residents could find themselves dealing with floods.

Coverage of B.C. floods on Globalnews.ca:

The April 1 survey from B.C.’s River Forecast Centre showed varying snowpacks around the province.

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And some are far more worrying than others.

In the Okanagan and the Similkameen regions, for example, the snowpack is at 152 per cent of normal levels.

Meanwhile, along B.C.’s coast, snowpacks range anywhere from 113 per cent in the Lower Fraser to 120 per cent in the South Coast region.

READ MORE: Snowpack in Okanagan still 150 per cent of normal

Strong snowpacks won’t necessarily lead to more flooding, but it gives people an idea of what water levels could be.

And other conditions would have to unfold in order to see significant flooding, hydrologist Jonathan Boyd told Global News.

“The worst case scenario would be that we stay cool and fairly wet right into mid-May, and then from mid-May, for maybe seven to 10 days have a ridge of high pressure build over the entire province and create extreme temperatures,” he said.

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As a whole, B.C. is at 127 per cent of normal.

Those numbers could go up yet — the weather is currently in a La Nina year, which means cool, wet weather, and more storms could be on the way.

But high snowpack could have some positive implications: when it’s high, it has the potential to delay forest fires, the BC Wildfire Service’s Kevin Skrepnek told Global News last week.

  • Video report by Geoff Hastings

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