River forecasters say its still early in the snowmelt season

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VICTORIA, B.C. — Officials with the BC River Forecast Centre say that while last week’s snowmelt seems to have abated in the Peace Region, river levels could rise once again later this week as snow at higher altitudes begins to melt.

River Forecast Centre section head David Campbell says that though Fort St. John saw much more snow than normal this season, the Northern Rockies had only recorded snowpack levels just under 100 percent of average at the beginning of last month. Campbell explained that though last week’s snowmelt at lower altitudes was intense, the cooler weather in the past couple of days helped to limit its severity. 

However, Campbell said that the high elevation snowpack in the Northern Rockies is still substantial, and that with more high temperatures expected this weekend that snow will begin to melt at a faster rate. However, he said that the likelihood of catastrophic flooding similar to what Dawson Creek experienced two years ago is low, provided the snowmelt is not combined with significant rainfall. 

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However, Campbell said that while the forecast is calling for sunny skies all week into the weekend, there’s no telling what the long-term forecast into June is calling for. He added that officials will be monitoring the situation incredibly intensely, especially after the severe flooding that has struck two areas of the province in the past two years.

A High Streamflow Advisory remains in effect for the entire B.C. Peace Region.

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