By Laura Keil
The Provincial River Forecast Centre is maintaining the Flood Warning for the Upper Fraser River including the Robson Valley and areas from Sinclair Mills to Torpy, Dome Creek, Dore River, McBride and surrounding tributaries.
Temperatures began to cool on Thursday, July 1st after a record heat wave gripped much of BC. The River Forecast Centre said the average maximum temperature at four of the high-elevation weather stations in the area dropped to 25.4°C on Thursday after previously reaching a high of 33.1°C on June 30th. The average elevation at these stations is 1,725 metres above sea level.
The River Forecast Centre says temperatures are forecast to remain cooler than the extreme heat from earlier in the week and snowmelt and glacier melt rates are expected to decrease resulting in receding river levels, but it warns the recession of river flow may be slightly slower than the CLEVER model is forecasting. It notes the Yellowhead Lake (1A01P) automated snow weather station measured 16 mm of rainfall Thursday evening through Friday morning and the Fraser River at Red Pass is increasing again.
“The rivers in the Upper Fraser are extremely vulnerable to rain over the upcoming 10‐days, especially if a basin‐wide event occurs,” a July 2nd River Forecast Centre report said.
Environment and Climate Change Canada says the forecast calls for potential rainfalll in the McBride region Friday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
The status of rivers in the region at 11:00am PDT on July 2nd:
– FRASER RIVER AT RED PASS (08KA007) is flowing at 324 m3 /s (between 10 and 20‐year flow) and beginning to rise again due to rainfall Thursday evening / Friday morning at Yellowhead Lake. It is unlikely to reach the previous peak flow of 344 m3/s which occurred around noon on Wednesday, June 30th. With cooler temperatures in the forecast the Fraser River at Red Pass is forecast to begin receding again later today unless heavy rain occurs in the upcoming days.
– FRASER RIVER AT MCBRIDE (08KA005) is flowing at approximately 1350 m3 /s (100‐year flow) and very slowly receding. The river reached a maximum of approximately 1420 to 1440 m3 /s on Thursday (the data became very noisy at the peak) and may have surpassed the all‐time highest recorded flow of 1424.5 m3/s set in June 1972. Flows are expected to recede over the upcoming days unless moderate to heavy precipitation occurs.
– DORE RIVER NEAR MCBRIDE (08KA001) reached 120 m3 /s (5‐year flow) on Thursday evening and continues to trend downward.
Details of the CLEVER Model forecasts for this region can be found at: http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/freshet/map_clever.html
The public is advised to stay clear of the fast‐flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks during the high‐streamflow period.