The first update since December to the province‚Äôs drought monitor underscores the dire conditions facing much of the province as summer approaches.
The final drought ratings of 2022, issued December 1, pegged three regions, all in northeastern BC, at level 5 drought, the most severe on the province‚Äôs six-tier scale. All of the province‚Äôs 34 water supply basins were at some level of drought except for Haida Gwaii.
The first update of the current year, issued six months later on June 1, shows that conditions have improved significantly across all regions. However, the East Peace basin remains at level 3 drought, with ‚Äúadverse impacts possible.‚ÄĚ
The adjacent Fort Nelson basin is one of 10 regions at level 2 drought, when adverse impacts are deemed unlikely. These regions include the Lower Mainland and all of Vancouver Island.
All told, the province is divided into 34 basins, of which 10 including the Okanagan and much of the Southern Interior, were rated as free of drought as of June 1.
The province‚Äôs next regular snow conditions and water supply bulletin is due for release June 8. Preliminary comments note that this May was the hottest on record in BC.
‚ÄúThe mountain snowpack melted quicker than ever before for this time of year. It is especially noticeable in the higher elevation snow stations,‚ÄĚ the province reports. ‚ÄúMany stations are reaching zero at the earliest date.‚ÄĚ
With an El Ni√Īo weather pattern developing in the Pacific, meteorologists are calling for drier than average conditions across the Pacific Northwest this summer. This heralds a growing season with below-average soil moisture and above-average fire risk.