Flood Warning – Upper Fraser River (UPGRADED)
Issued: 1:00PM June 29, 2021
The River Forecast Centre is upgrading to a Flood Warning for the Upper Fraser River including:
Upper Fraser River including the Robson Valley and areas from Sinclair Mills upstream to Torpy, Dome Creek, Dore River, McBride and surrounding tributaries
Temperatures have been trending upward over the past five days in the headwaters of the Upper Fraser. The average maximum temperature at four of the high elevation automated snow weather stations have been increasing as follows; June 24: 14.2°C, June 25: 20.3°C, June 26: 26.3°C, June 27: 29.4°C, June 28: 31.5°C.
The average elevation at these stations is 1,725 metres above sea level. The extremely hot temperatures have triggered an astounding amount of snowmelt at the higher elevations of the Upper Fraser River. The stations that still have remaining snowpack are melting at 80-100mm of snow water equivalent per day. Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) forecasts two more extremely hot days before slightly cooling on Thursday and Friday in the region.
The current forecast at McBride has the following maximum temperatures, Tuesday: 41°C, Wednesday: 38°C, Thursday: 31°C, Friday: 31°C. There is a forecast weather pattern shift towards potentially wetter conditions. The current forecast is 30% chance of showers for Wednesday and Thursday. The Upper Fraser is extremely vulnerable if a moderate to heavy rain event occurs in the upcoming 5-days.
The status of rivers in the region at 12:00PDT on June 29th:
FRASER RIVER AT RED PASS (08KA007) is flowing at 334 m3/s (between 10-year and 20 year flow) and is forecast to continue rising for at least another day.
FRASER RIVER AT MCBRIDE (08KA005) is flowing at 1230 m3/s (20-year return period) and forecast to continue rising for at least another day.
DORE RIVER NEAR MCBRIDE (08KA001) reached 141 m3/s (between 10-year and 20-year flow) on Monday evening and is expected to have higher evening peaks over the upcoming days. The highest peak will likely occur on the hottest day. Last year’s flood event occurred with a peak flow of 171 m3/s on June 23, 2020.
MCKALE RIVER NEAR 940M CONTOUR (08KA009) reached approximately 90 m3/s (5-year flow) on Monday evening. The past three days have seen similar daily peaks suggesting that snow is a limiting factor and it’s unlikely for flows to go higher than 90 m3/s on snowmelt alone.
MORKILL RIVER BELOW HELLROARING CREEK (08KA013) reached approximately 312 m3/s (2-year flow) on Monday evening. The past four days have seen similar daily peaks suggesting that snow is a limiting factor and it’s unlikely for flows to go higher than approximately 320 m3/s on snowmelt alone.
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.
The River Forecast Centre continues to monitor the conditions and will provide updates as conditions warrant.
BC River Forecast Centre