Flood Warnings and Advisories

Southwest Region
High Streamflow Advisory – Fraser River (MAINTAINED)
ISSUED: 4:00 PM June 28th, 2020

The River Forecast Centre is maintaining a High Streamflow Advisory for:

  • Fraser River including the mainstem from Prince George through Hope and the Fraser Valley

The combined influences of seasonal snowmelt and rainfall across the Thompson and Fraser watersheds this month and last week has led to high flow conditions in the Fraser River.
Most recent observations are:

  • Fraser River at Shelley (08KB001) peaked at 4,000 m3/s (between 5-year and 10-year flow) near noon on Friday and is slowly receding.  The current flow is 3,760 m3/s
  • Fraser River near Marguerite (08MC018) peaked at 5,700 m3/s (between a 5-year and 10-year flow) at noon on Saturday and is slowly receding.  The current flow is 5,540 m3/s
  • Fraser River above Texas Creek (08MF040) peaked early this morning at 6,590 m3/s (between a 5-year and 10-year flow) and is still at that level
  • Thompson River near Spences Bridge (08LF051) is flowing at 3400 m3/s (between a 5-year and 10-year flow) and gradually rising
  • Fraser River at Hope (08MF005) is flowing at approximately 10,400 m3/s (between a 5-year and 10-year flow) and beginning to level off
  • Harrison Lake near Harrison Hot Springs has a water level of 12.09 m.  It has risen approximately 20-cm over the past 2-days
  • Fraser River at Mission (08MH024) is at approximately 11,500 m3/s and the water level is 5.84 m

Warm and wet weather last week in the upper reaches of the Fraser River watershed has increased snowmelt runoff across the basin. Moderate rises through the lower reaches of the Fraser River occurred.  The Fraser River at Hope has reached the highest flow of the season at 10,400 m3/s, between a 5-year and 10-year flow and appears to be leveling off. The Fraser River at Mission water level is at 5.84 m and modeling predicts the river could reach 5.96 m on Monday morning. 

Based on the weather forecast for the upcoming week, expect flows to level off and begin to gradually recede for the Fraser River at Hope and at Mission.  However, the river is vulnerable to a localized heavy rainfall in the Lower Fraser that could increase flows from local tributaries like the Chilliwack River, Harrison River and Coquihalla River. If another heavy rainfall event occurs in the headwaters of the Upper Fraser, Cariboo and North Thompson it would take approximately 3-5 days for that pulse of water to eventually peak flows in the Lower Fraser Valley. Weather forecasts show continued unsettled weather patterns for the upcoming week. 

There is little expectation for the Lower Fraser River to reach substantial flood levels (gauge level at Mission > 6.4 m or flow at Fraser River at Hope > 11,000m3/s).  However, since the river is flowing at the highest level recorded this season thus far, it is vulnerable to any heavy basin-wide rainfall event over the next two weeks.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development produces 10-day Lower Fraser River Water Level Forecasting and results are available at: http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/freshet/lower_fraser/LFR-10-DayFloodLevelForecasts.pdf

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: 250-213-8172

Levels of Warnings/Advisories:

  1. High Streamflow Advisory: River levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but that no major flooding is expected. Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible. This is the lowest level.
  2. Flood Watch: River levels are rising and will approach or may exceed bankfull. Flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers may occur. This is the intermediate level.
  3. Flood Warning: River levels have exceeded bankfull or will exceed bankfull imminently, and that flooding of areas adjacent to the rivers affected will result. This is the highest level.

Links:

  1. Home of River Forecast Centre
  2. Current Streamflow Conditions and Flood Forecast Modeling
  3. Map of Current Streamflow Return Periods for All WSC Stations
  4. CLEVER Model 10-day Forecasts of Discharges and Return Periods
  5. COFFEE Model 5-day Forecasts of Discharges and Return Periods
  6. Back to page of Flood Warnings and Advisories