Flood Warnings and Advisories
Central Region – Flood Watch – Okanagan (UPGRADED), Salmon River, Bonaparte River; High Streamflow Advisory – North Thompson, South Thompson, Shuswap, Similkameen, Nicola River
ISSUED: 4:00 PM May 29, 2020
The River Forecast Centre is issuing or maintaining a Flood Watch for:
- Okanagan including tributaries around Vernon, Lumby, Winfield, Kelowna (NEW), Penticton (NEW), Osoyoos (NEW) including Mission Creek and Mill Creek and surrounding areas
- Salmon River near Salmon Arm
- Bonaparte River
The River Forecast Centre is maintaining a High Streamflow Advisory for:
- North Thompson River including mainstem and Clearwater River and smaller tributaries
- South Thompson River including Shuwap River and tributaries
- Similkameen and tributaries including the Ashnola River
- Nicola River including Upper Nicola River above Nicola Lake and downstream through Spences Bridge
River levels have remained elevated due to on-going snowmelt and episodes of precipitation. Some rivers have experienced more rapid rises earlier in the week in response to rainfall last weekend and through the early part of the week.
A high-pressure system is in place, and temperatures are expected to rise into Saturday, with temperatures in valley bottom locations reaching up to the low 30C range. In areas with some mid-elevation snowpack remaining, rivers levels may see additional rises through the rest of the week; this includes the Bonaparte River, Nicola River, Salmon River, tributaries in the North Thompson River and in the North Okanagan and Shuswap Region. In areas with higher elevation terrain, on-going rises in river levels are expected due to accelerated snowmelt. This includes the South Thompson River and tributaries, including the Shuswap River, North Thompson River including the Clearwater River, and Similkameen River.
Following this hot spell, weather is expected to transition to a low-pressure trough and cold front. This brings the potential for thundershowers ahead of the trough on Saturday evening, transitioning to more organized rainfall overnight Saturday and into Sunday. Exact amounts of rainfall and locations of highest rainfall amounts is still uncertain, however current weather modelling is indicating the potential for moderate to high rainfall amounts (as low as 5-15mm to as high as 30-40+mm) exists throughout the region over this time frame. If high rainfall amounts materialize, flood conditions are likely to occur, particularly in areas that already have elevated river levels. Current flood watches reflect that the expected responses on rivers based on current precipitation forecast levels would likely reach flood levels; there is the potential for extremely high flows (exceeding 20-year to 50-year return period flows). As there is uncertainty to rainfall amounts and locations, flooding may also occur in adjacent regions. Rainfall patterns will be monitored over this period, and advisories and watches updated as necessary.
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 situation and provides updates as conditions warrant.
Contact for Media Relations, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development:
Tel: 250 356-7506
Levels of Warnings/Advisories: