Thu. Jan 17th, 2019

Rain Rain here to Stay – Snowpack Staying Away

  • Vancouver Island Inland Sections Forecast - No watches or warnings in effect.

    Forecast Issued 05:00 AM PST Thursday 17 January 2019 - Thursday: Showers. Amount 5 to 10 mm. High plus 5. Thursday night: Rain. Amount 10 to 20 mm. Temperature steady near plus 5. Friday: Rain. Amount 5 to 10 mm. High 7. Friday night: Rain. Low plus 5. Saturday: Rain. High 6. Saturday night: Showers. Low plus 3. Sunday: A mix of sun and cloud with 60 percent chance of showers. High 7. Sunday night: Clear. Low plus 2. Monday: A mix of sun and cloud with 60 percent chance of showers. High 6. Monday night: Periods of rain. Low plus 3. Tuesday: Rain. High 6. Tuesday night: Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Low plus 3. Wednesday: Cloudy. High 7.

  • Current Conditions
    Temperature
    4.5° C
    0.3 ° C/hr
    Barometer
    99.71 kPa
    0.0
    Wind
    N/A 0.0 km/h
    gusting 0.0 km/h
    Humidity
    99 %
    Rain Rate
    0.0 mm/hr
    Wind Chill
    4.5° C
    Heat Index
    4.5° C
    Dewpoint
    4.4° C
    UV
    0.0
    Solar
    90 W/m2
    Last Updated: 9:30:00 PDT
    Click to Refresh or See All Conditions
  • Day Almanac
    Day's Rain
    2.3 mm
    Day ET
    0.0 mm mm
    Rain Storm
    NotAvailable mm
    Civil Rise
    07:30
    Moon Phase
    Waxing gibbous (84% full)
    Civil Set
    17:28
    Day Length
    12:29:20
    Day High
    4.7° C @ 06:41 Tdy.
    Day Low
    2.4° C @ 00:00 Tdy.
    Day High Rain Rate
    1.8mm/hr @ 03:25 Tdy.
    Day High Barometer
    99.92 kPa @ 00:00 Tdy.
    Day Low Barometer
    99.69 kPa @ 08:29 Tdy.
    Day Low Windchill
    0.1° C @ 05:47 Tdy.
    Day High Heat Index
    4.7° C @ 06:41 Tdy.
    Day High Wind Gust
    S 8.9km/h @ 06:40 Tdy.
    Day High Solar Radiation
    93W/m2 @ 09:28 Tdy.
    Day High UV Index
    0.0 @ 00:00 Tdy.

It will be raining the majority of the day today.   In fact it may not stop raining until around noon Tuesday!  We’ll chalk it up to early April showers.

In the 48 hours between Sunday and Tuesday afternoon we should receive around 30mm.

wa_pcp48.48.0000

 

Snowpack at Zero – Very Unlikely to rise – What are the implications?

The snowpack remains at zero at Jump Creek.

This is unprecedented in the instrument record at that site (since 1995) and as far as I have heard from other sources, unprecedented in the historic records on South Vancouver Island.

spd3b23p-7I find it very unlikely that there will be any accumulation whatsoever.  The model forecasts below show no chance for below 0ºC temperatures within the next two weeks. I believe the snow season has ended on the South Island.

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 7.37.57 AM

What does it mean to not have snowpack?

For some reason the BC River Forecast centre never released its March 9, 2015 snow survey bulletin.  The last update was released over a month ago on February 23rd.

The main monthly Water Supply bulletin is due out on April 8th.  That should give us a good idea of what to expect in the spring and summer months for water supplies and river flows.

So what happens if there is no snowpack on the Island?

a) If it is too warm to accumulate snow but still cool enough to keep the snowpack intact, existing snow on the ground will ‘lock in’ some of the rain… which slows down the runoff from the hills.  This can keep river levels from rising too quickly (until the snowpack starts to melt of course).

b) When it snows on the hills, that water is effectively saved for when the rain stops and is released slowly into the rivers and lakes.  Keeping them full into the hot and dry months of the summer.

c) As the snow melts through the summer, it keeps the rivers and lakes cold and fresh which is what the salmon and other wildlife depend on.

There are other ways the snowpack interacts with the wider environment.  There is no doubt that having no snowpack to start the dry season will cause potential problems.

The best we can hope for is (sorry to say) a relatively cool and wet summer.  The worst case scenario would be a summer like 2012 where we were dry from June through October and hot.  If that were to happen, by late summer and fall we could have extremely challenging water situations all over the South island and very poor conditions for returning salmon.

Fingers Crossed!

Have a Happy Monday all.