Here are some March 1st snowpack factz from the past:
- The most above normal ever measured in BC at any station was Elk River on Vancouver Island (elevation 270m) in 1956 when it was 941% of normal. The normal is only 58mm of SWE (snow water equivalent) at this location.
- By FAR the deepest snow depths ever measured in BC on March 1st were in 1999. The highest of all was ORCHID LAKE north of Vancouver in the Seymour drainage with a snow depth of 750cm and a SWE of 2960mm. That's 202% of the normal.
- Snow depth is not the entire story because a big snow storm that hasn't settled yet might give you more depth, but less SWE. One place on the south coast had more SWE in 1999, PALISADE LAKE had 3150 mm SWE, which is 285% of normal.
- The most above normal March 1st snow depth ever recorded in the Okanagan Valley was ISINTOK LAKE (elevation 1651m) in 1972 at 271% of normal (358mm of SWE).
- The most below normal snowpack ever recorded in the Okanagan was MOUNT KOBAU (elevation 1817m) in 1977 at 24% of normal.
- The highest snow pack ever recorded in the Okanagan was at SILVER STAR MOUNTAIN (1834m) in 1974 at 912 mm of SWE. The snow was 2.57m deep!
- After 60 years of records they closed down the Silver Star station last year and replaced it with an automated station in a different location that gives a different result, so you can't compare them.
- Big White (elevation 1672m) is not in the Okanagan technically, but you might be wondering about its biggest snowpack ever. That was also in 1974 with a total of 676 mm of SWE (168% of normal).
- You might be wondering if there are any places in BC above 4000feet/1200m elevation that ever have no snow on the ground on March 1st. Yes there is. PAVILION near Lillooet is at 1209m, and only averages 58mm of SWE, and had zero mm on the ground in 1981, 1983, and 1988. Big Creek in the Chilcotin also averages 58mm, and has seen zero mm on March 1st in 1981 and 1983. Big Creek is just shy of 200% of normal this year.