Snowpack that made for great skiing has grown in cool spring. (Big White Ski Resort)

Most of B.C. braces for big rain, snowmelt

Heavy rain expected through weekend, high stream warnings through Interior

Rainstorms bearing down on the B.C. Interior are causing flood preparations beyond the Okanagan, with high streamflow warnings across northern B.C. as rain melts snowpack through the coming weekend.

According to the B.C. River Forecast Centre, snowpack for the Okanagan was the highest in the province at 147 per cent of normal by May. Cool temperatures and precipitation up to three times normal added significantly to snowpack during April in the Central Interior, South Interior, Okanagan and Kootenay regions.

The Lower Fraser had 139 per cent of normal snowpack by May, with 146 per cent for the Similkameen, 121 per cent for Boundary, 134 per cent for the West Kootenay and 137 per cent for East Kootenay. The South Coast had 132 per cent, with the Central Coast at only 60 per cent of normal snowpack.

The Northwest had generally drier than normal conditions this spring, but heavy rainfall is expected across the Northwest and Northeast through the weekend. High streamflow advisories have been issued for the Bulkley River and tributaries around Houston, Telkwa and Smithers, and all rivers and streams in the Peace region.

Those are in addition to high streamflow advisories in the Central Interior and Thompson regions, including the Coldwater, Nicola and Bonaparte Rivers, and small streams around Cache Creek, Merritt, Kamloops and surrounding areas.

High streamflow advisories continue for Shuswap, Okanagan, Similkameen, Boundary, West Kootenay, East Kootenay and Columbia regions, including rivers around Revelstoke and Golden.