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Kootenay snowpack far lower than normal levels

B.C. is seeing extremely low snowpack across the province compared to last year.

The BC River Forecast Centre released its report on Wednesday, however, the data is based on Jan. 1 measurements.

This means there’s likely been some change with the snow that fell over the past week.

Provincially, the snowpack is averaging 56 per cent of normal compared to last year where it was 82 per cent.

In the East Kootenay, the snowpack is at 62 per cent of normal down from 95 per cent.

In the Upper Columbia region, the snowpack is at 59 per cent of normal compared to 77 per cent last year.

The West Kootenay is at 57 per cent and the Boundary region is at 58 per cent.

Last year they were at 93 per cent and 129 per cent of normal respectively.

A normal snowpack is the average measurement recorded at a station between 1991 and 2020.

Unless there is a drastic change, the BC River Forecast Centre is expecting a lower flooding risk during the spring freshet.

However, it could significantly affect ongoing drought concerns and increase fire risk in the summer.

The next snow bulletin is scheduled for Feb. 8.

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