Snow Pack Increased


Greater Vernon Water says the snow pack is above normal. 

The B.C. River Forecast Centre (BCRFC) reports that the early March snowpack in the South Thompson Basin, which includes the GVW Duteau Creek water reservoirs, was at 87% of Normal. The high elevation snowpack measurements for the Okanagan Basin, which includes our Kalamalka Lake water source, was at 86% of Normal. According to the BCRFC, there was a slight increase in snowpack from their February 1st readings as a result of colder than normal temperatures and higher low elevation snowfall. However, seasonally dry conditions have resulted in a generally lower than normal snowpack. Environment and Climate Change Canada report that forecasts are indicating normal seasonal temperatures for March to May.

GVW monitors snow depth and Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) 5 times per year, between January and May at three sites near the Duteau Creek water reservoirs, to better understand the watershed’s hydrology. SWE is the amount of water contained within the snowpack. The March 2017 snow depth and SWE readings are slightly below average at all three sites as seen in the charts below. Site IFO1A, established in 1970, is a historical site located near Edwin Lake down gradient of the storage dams. Sites 2701 and 2702 were established in 2008 upstream of Grizzly reservoir. Site 2701 represents a new harvested timber block, whereas Site 2702 is within a 60-80 year old forested stand. GVW has these different sites to monitor how the snow accumulates and melts differently as a result of the difference in forest cover. The Snow depth at the three sites ranged from 104 -120% of Normal and the Snow Water Equivalent 114 - 133% of Normal.

Greater Vernon Water (GVW) is tracking the latest climate information to help forecast water supply levels for the coming year. Snow pack plays an important role in supplying water to fill our reservoirs during spring melt.