Prince George could see temperatures rise to 17 degrees above normal this weekend.
According to the Head of the BC River Forecast Centre, Dave Campbell, that could lead to higher flows in the rivers around Prince George.
“We’re seeing, particularly when we get to the higher elevation terrain in the province, that we haven’t hit the peak of the snowmelt freshet season,” Campbell said.
“Our expectation is with this warming and extremely hot temperatures that we’re expecting through this weekend, early next week, that’s going to accelerate the snowmelt.”
Campbell said they’re anticipating a wave of runoff in the weekend, bringing a period of increased flood hazard throughout the Province.
According to the BC River Forecast Centre’s most recent snow survey and water supply bulletin, the Upper Fraser East basin was at 79 per cent of normal for this time of year on May 1st.
“Province-wide was pretty much near normal snowpack, but we’ve seen since that time in the last ten days or so, the melt has been rapid up to this point,” Campbell explained.
“It’s going to be one of those question marks, one of those pieces of uncertainty as we go through the next seven days or so here. We’d expect that we’re fairly close to being able to still have the capacity within the snow to create some quite high flows, but it could be the snow fizzles out and we’re able to melt it off.”
Prince George and the Robson Valley are currently in a High Streamflow Advisory, but Campbell says that could change this weekend.
“I think we’ll likely see that come up into a Flood Watch as we go into the weekend,” he said.
“At this point though the rivers have been quite stable, so we saw a fairly good drop and that’s why we pulled things down a little bit. It is going to take a bit of time to start to kind of ramp up and I think at the point where we start to see that rising trend kick in, that will probably be when we issue that Flood Watch.”
Campbell added the hot temperatures are expected to be seen throughout the province.