Risk of dry summer persists

Recent data of water flows in the Clearwater River and snowpack in Wells Gray Park indicate dry summer

Snow pillow near Kostal Lake in Wells Gray Park shows the snow has gone about three weeks earlier than normal.

Snow pillow near Kostal Lake in Wells Gray Park shows the snow has gone about three weeks earlier than normal.

Recent data of water flows in the Clearwater River and snowpack in the middle of Wells Gray Park do not indicate that the risk of a dry summer for the upper North Thompson Valley is lessening, according to Michael Allchin.

“You’ll see that the Clearwater River looks to have peaked about two to three weeks earlier than the long-term average profile, and flows have now already dived to below those on the same date in both 2003 and 2004,” he said, referring to a graph showing water flows in the river.

He added that the Kostal snow pillow in Wells Gray Park is reporting zero remaining snowpack, about three weeks before the long-term average date on which this occurs, and the earliest this has been observed at this site.

“Unless there is substantial persistent rainfall during the next few weeks, it looks quite likely that the river will drop to the lowest summer flows ever recorded in the gauge’s 100-year history, possibly as early as the beginning of July,” Allchin said.

The Clearwater resident is presently doing research towards a Ph.D. from UNBC.