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Snow levels below normal in Okanagan, Similkameen and Boundary

Cool temperatures expected to continue until April
The Feb. 1, 2022 measurements showed the Boundary region had the lowest snow pack levels in the province. (British Columbia Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin)

Snow levels in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Boundary regions are all lower than normal, according to statistics from the province.

The Feb. 1, measurements showed the snow levels in the Okanagan basin are 90 per cent of normal levels, up from 84 per cent of normal levels on Jan. 1.

In the Boundary basin, the snowpack on Feb. 1, was 88 per cent of normal, compared to 103 per cent of normal on Jan. 1. In the Similkameen, the snow level was 95 per cent of normal levels, compared with 104 per cent of normal levels on Jan. 1.

READ ALSO: Okanagan sees highest January snowpack levels in eight years

READ ALSO: Summerland snow measurements well below normal

Within each of these regions, snow measurements can vary, depending on the location.

Provincially, weather patterns shifted in January, from very cold and relatively dry in late December to wetter conditions for the first half of January and then drier for the second half of the month.

La Nina conditions were recorded in the fall of 2021. This is the second consecutive year of La Nina conditions. La Nina occurs when oceanic temperature anomalies along the equatorial Pacific Ocean region are below normal for an extended period. This results in cooler temperatures in British Columbia and wetter weather on the South Coast and on Vancouver Island.

Seasonal forecasts from Environment and Climate Change Canada show an increased likelihood of cooler temperatures around the province from February to April.

The Okanagan, Similkameen and Boundary regions have all experienced significant fluctuations in snowpack levels in recent years.

In the Boundary region, the snowpack was as low as 59 per cent of normal in 2017 and as high as 128 per cent of normal in 2020. In the Okanagan region, the 2017 snowpack was 78 per cent of normal. In 2018, it was 131 per cent of normal. In 2019 it was 86 per cent of normal and in 2020 it was 129 per cent of normal. In the Similkameen region, the 2017 and 2019 snow levels were 74 per cent of normal, while in 2018 the snow measurement was 135 per cent of normal. In 2020, 2021 and 2022, the measurements have been close to normal levels.

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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