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Strong snowfall will help summer water supply

Over 100 per cent

The May survey of snowfall around the province is making summer water predictions look good.

The snowpacks across Vancouver Island and the South Coast are at 111 per cent and 121 per cent respectively.

It’s also above normal in the Okanagan and Kettle Basins. The South and North Thompson are near or just below normal.

In the Columbia it is slightly below normal at 93 per cent and in the Kootenay it is 91 per cent, except for southern portions of the Kootenay, which are above normal.

It is below normal in the Similkameen (72 per cent) and Nicola-Coldwater (70 per cent) basins.

Northern B.C. snowpacks remain below normal.

The Upper Fraser basin is only 70 per cent of normal. The Peace River basin is currently 86 per cent of normal and the Skeena is 84 per cent, both of which are slight increases from their April 1 levels.

The snow pack means there are unlikely to be any water supply concerns for the Okanagan, Kootenay and Thompson basins, or for Vancouver Island and the South Coast.

Spring and early summer stream flow runoff is forecast to be above normal on Vancouver Island and the South Coast, near or slightly above normal in the Okanagan and Kettle basins, near or slightly below normal in the Thompson, Columbia and Kootenay regions, and about 80 per cent of normal in the Similkameen basin.

For northern B.C., spring and early summer runoff is forecast to be only 70-85 per cent of normal.

"Despite an overall positive water supply outlook, we're still encouraging British Columbians to conserve water whenever possible," said Environment Minister Barry Penner. "It's an incredibly valuable resource."

The May1 snow survey reflects the maximum snow accumulation for the year. From this date forward, snowpack will decline as the spring melt accelerates.

The conditions defined by the May 1 snow survey also reflect the flood potential for the spring. British Columbia regional climatology is currently being affected by a mild La Nina, which generates an increased probability of cooler-than-normal and wetter-than-normal spring weather.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre compiled this province-wide snow survey.