New Westminster, BC– The City of New Westminster would like to provide the following update to residents regarding the water levels on the Fraser River, received from the BC River Forecast Centre as of June 6, 2012
Over the past week, air temperatures have been cooling throughout the Fraser River basin. A minor precipitation event from June 1 to 2 has created a slight increase for flows on the Fraser River at the Water Survey of Canada gauge at Hope. Flows peaked mid-day Wednesday, June 6 and will decrease gradually over the following two days. Flows should bottom out mid-day Friday before increasing significantly over the weekend and into next week in response to a weather system currently affecting the upper reaches of the Fraser River. It generally takes 3 – 4 days for increased flows to move from the headwaters of the Fraser River to the Lower Fraser Valley.
Currently, a large-scale upper low pressure system is significantly affecting the Upper Fraser, Thompson and Cariboo regions. Most mid to high elevation snow stations still measure 60 to 90% of their total snow remaining. The heavy rain could enhance the melting rate of the snowpack. River levels at Hope will begin increasing on the weekend. They are expected to reach their highest levels of the freshet so far early next week.
Uncertainty over the flow forecast is largely due to the unsettled weather trend and the resulting amount of rain that falls. Wetter than expected conditions may lead to higher than forecast flows. There are currently no signs of significant hot spells forecast in the next 7 days.
The City of New Westminster Emergency Management Office will continue to monitor the situation through regular liaison with the experts at the federal and provincial government levels and will continue to provide updates to the community as necessary. In the meantime, interested members of the public may wish to visit the city website at newwestcity.ca for further information on the 2012 Fraser River Freshet including links to provincial bodies responsible for public safety.