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REPORTING · 28th May 2013
Merv Ritchie
Update - New Graphics added below
Today the river looks high but in reality the only threat is extreme lows. Yes there has been a sudden high melt and runoff, and along with the associated rain it might appear serious. The truth is the seriousness is the extreme lows we will likely be facing.

Check out the graph above and the graphs below.

Above we see the Skeena River measured at Usk with the historical highs, lows and the average from May 1 to June 10 along with the current measured level (the dark blue line). These graphed lines are representing every year ever recorded. We can see the flood stage highs such as occurred at the beginning of June 2007. We are not even close to this today.

The lowest river levels ever recorded match exactly how the Skeena River began the spring melt early this month.

The graphs below show the snow left in the mountains as of 5 days ago. The Kalum River snow pack in the Cedar Kiteen is all gone now, nothing left to melt. The snow pack feeding the Copper River and areas east/northeast have all fallen dramatically. The snow pack in the Skeena Headwaters north of Kispiox has also dropped significantly.

Enjoy the high water in the Skeena this spring, come June 22nd, the beginning of summer, without significant rainfall, one might be able to use the Skeena as a wading pool.

A look up to the peaks of the mountains will reveal the truth of this assessment and the reality behind the graphs from Environment Canada and the BC Ministry of Environment. A recent drive (this afternoon) from Smithers to Terrace revealed a remarkable amount of bare mountain rock in the high alpine. Even the Glacier in Smithers seemed significantly shrunken.
The Kalum River watershed - Note the dark blue line is the current measurement as of May 23.
The Kalum River watershed - Note the dark blue line is the current measurement as of May 23.
The Copper River watershed - Note the dark blue line is the current measurement as of May 23.
The Copper River watershed - Note the dark blue line is the current measurement as of May 23.
The Skeena Headwaters north of Kispiox - Note the dark blue line is the current measurement as of May 23.
The Skeena Headwaters north of Kispiox - Note the dark blue line is the current measurement as of May 23.
NEW - From May 28 measurements.  The significant drop in snow pack can be seen in the slight rise in river height.  Now the only increase will be due to rainfall, the snow pack is all but gone.
NEW - From May 28 measurements. The significant drop in snow pack can be seen in the slight rise in river height. Now the only increase will be due to rainfall, the snow pack is all but gone.