Shuswap Lakewatch NEWS

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The 2022 Runoff Has Started

Shuswap Lake is steadily rising since March 17

Source: SLW NEWS Date: 2022-04-01 Topic: SLW News Location: Shuswap Lake

Shuswap Lake At Sicamous Pictures: 6 Videos: 0

Mild temperatures and frequent rain showers over the past 2 weeks have quickly melted away all snow in lower elevations and dissolved most of the Mara Lake ice cover. Starting on March 17 at a lake level of 345.217m, Shuswap Lake has already risen a total of 24.3cm (9.5 in) at an average of 1.6 cm (0.6 in) per day. With rain or rain showers on 8 of the past 15 days, rain water has been a major water contributor for the early level rise. Furthermore, the snow line has now receded into higher altitudes to well above 1,400m (4,600 ft) where sun exposed patches of snow are beginning to melt away as well. Current lake levels are close to those of 2017; slightly higher than the past 5 years and roughly 17 cm (6.7 in) above the last 10 year average.

The overall mountain snowpack is about identical to the past 2 years so far. The area north of Shuswap Lake has received more snow than the southern regions this year. Celista Mountain recorded a peak snow depth of just below 280 cm (9 ft) at an altitude of 1,533m (5,000 ft), the highest since the spring of 2018. Whereas the peak snow depth at Park Mountain and Silver Star Mountain is close to last winter, the Hunters Range fell about 120cm (4 ft) short of snow this winter in comparison to the snow peak of the 2017/2018 winter season; recorded at an altitude of 1,950m (6,400 ft). As of today, the snowpack on all Shuswap mountains is now just slightly higher than last year but lower than 2 winters ago.

Unless extreme weather events (like prolonged heavy periods of rain or unusual hot temperatures this spring) coming to the Shuswap, Shuswap Lake is unlikely to reach flood levels again this year. However, minor spill-overs or flooding along major rivers and creeks in the Shuswap during the peak runoff always remains a possibility; especially along the upper Shuswap River between Mara Lake and Mabel Lake.

Once we are approaching the main runoff stage, an updated report and forecast will be published here.

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