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March 12, 2018: Shuswap Update

Sunny, warm weather is quickly melting the low elevation snowpack. I did some test digging in the driveway snow piles and noticed that the snow has compacted to grainy, icy balls which are as easy to shovel as sand. With day and night temperatures remaining in the positive for this week, the snow will continue to melt away quickly and should mostly gone within the next 10 days or less. The dry soil is still absorbing most of the current snow water and is not affecting the lake levels as of yet. We also see some snow compacting and surface melting in medium and higher elevations but most of the melt water will be trapped in the colder, lower layers of the snowpack. It will take some time before those lower layers are saturated enough to release the water into the soil, creeks, and rivers. The main runoff will start clearly later than last year when lake levels reacted to the snow melt on the 12th of March; exactly one year ago as of today. Furthermore, the lake levels are still about one foot lower than last year at this time which will absorb most of the water from the above normal snowpack. Unless the near future surprises the Shuswap with unexpected early heat waves or monsoon-like rain showers, lake levels can be expected to more or less match those of last year. As of today I can't see any credible indications that the lake will reach flood stage this year. Time will tell...

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Last Lake Measurements
  Date: March 17, 2018
  Lake Level: 344.883 m 1131.51 ft.
  1-Day Change: 0.3 cm 0.1 in.
  Water Temp.: 1.1 °C 34 F
  Day Low: 0.7 °C 33 F
  Day High: 11.4 °C 53 F
  Next Update: March 18, 2018
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