Snow Conditions Commentary

Snow Conditions Commentary

June 1, 2023

Last month was the hottest May on record across British Columbia. The mountain snowpack melted quicker than ever before for this time of year. It is especially noticeable in the higher elevation snow stations. Another heat wave is forecast to begin this weekend and into next week and may lead to the automated stations being snow-free earlier than ever before. 

A complete listing of Automated Snow Weather Stations (ASWS) expressed as percent of long-term median for the entire length of record is found here: ASWS Weekly Summary.

*Note* These are NOT the official snow basin indices. 

As of June 1st, the provincial average for the ASWS sites is 30%, not including stations that no longer measure snow. The Fraser River basin is 31% of median. By June 1st, typically about half of the seasonal snow pack has melted. Approximately 85% of the snow pack melted by June 1st this year. Many stations are reaching zero at the earliest date, especially at the higher elevations.

Another statistical approach to monitoring the snow pack is through percentiles. The Current Year (2022-23) graph displays the percentage of snow stations that measure a percentile class over time. The percentile class ranges are well above normal (80th to 100th percentile), above normal (60th to 80th), normal (40th to 60th), below normal (20th to 40th) and well below normal (0 to 20th). The Previous Year (2021-22) graph is also available for comparison.

Warm weather continues this weekend and another heat wave is forecast next week.

The June 1st Snow and Water Supply Bulletin is scheduled to be released on Thursday, June 8th 2023.