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Drought conditions continuing as PG heads towards winter

Drought conditions are continuing to persist as we head into winter in Prince George.

After spending time in drought level five, the area was downgraded to level four in October.

“Part of that was just some of the storms that did come and roll through the province in October,” said BC River Forecast Centre Hydrologist Jonathan Boyd.

“It has been, for the most part for November, relatively dry, so still pretty considerable drought conditions in the province, most notably in the North and in the Interior.”

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As of November 23rd, much of North Eastern BC was still in level five drought, which means adverse impacts are almost certain.

“There still is a ways to go to improve,” Boyd continued.

“I’d say it’s unprecedented this year, but it was actually last year where we had these drought conditions last until late fall and into the early winter.”

Boyd added the province typically stops reporting drought levels in late October, and tomorrow (Thursday) will be the official last day the levels are update this year.

He said the Fraser and Nechako rivers are at or near all-time record low flows for this time of year.

“It’s also that time of year where rivers are usually pretty low because we get into that freeze up season,” he explained.

“Another big driving force has been the lack of precipitation, for the last 365 days it is the driest it’s ever been in Prince George.”

He said the dry weather started in July 2022.

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“That deficit of precipitation is going to take some time to catch up,” he said.

“Even if we do get the precipitation over the winter it will fall as snow, so the actual impacts for ground water or rivers won’t be felt until we get into the early stages of the melt.”

Boyd said they’re hoping for storms coming through for the winter to provide enough snow for the interior.

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