Snow Conditions Commentary

January 15, 2019

A bi-weekly commentary of snow conditions based on readings from the BC Automated Snow Weather Station (ASWS) network is published during the snow season.

Weather

The start of January was considerably stormy resulting in high precipitation throughout most of the province.  In higher elevations, precipitation fell as snow, increasing the snow pack considerably.  Over the past week, British Columbia has been under the influence of a high pressure ridge, resulting in limited precipitation, clear skies and in some areas, inversions.

Snowpack

The January 1st Snow Bulletin was released on January 8.  The majority of the province was at near normal snow pack levels.  The average of all automated snow stations and manual snow surveys was 96% of normal.

Several storms at the start of the month increased the snow pack considerably in some areas.  Despite dry weather for the past seven days, the snow pack has increased relative to normal since January 1.

The average of all automated snow weather stations (snow pillows) was 97% on January 1.  As of January 15, it has increased to 103% of normal.  The regions with the highest snow pack relative to normal at automated stations are the North Thompson (128%), Middle Fraser (120%), West Kootenay (120%) and Upper Columbia (118%).  Areas with lower snow pack relative to normal are the Stikine (72%), Boundary (79%), Okanagan (84%) and Similkameen (86%).

Several storms are forecast to arrive this weekend and the following week. The provincial snowpack is expected to increase accordingly.

Download the detailed listing of all snow pillows here: ASP Weekly Summary.

In a typical year, approximately 55% of the winter snowpack has accumulated by January 15th across the province.  The next update for the Snow Conditions Commentary will be Friday, February 1.  The February 1st Snow Bulletin is scheduled to be released Friday February 8.