Fraser River water levels have been rising, but the peak at Mission is forecast between June 4 and June 5, 2020 according to provincial modelling. (BC River Forecast Centre)

Fraser River freshet peak is coming soon

Predictions for 2020 by River Forecast Centre has the freshet peak at the Mission gauge for June 4-5

The peak of spring freshet on the lower Fraser River could be soon.

With 2020 snowpacks in upper Fraser River watersheds at their highest levels in decades, flood watchers in communities across the Fraser Valley have been monitoring carefully the ongoing melt since April.

The latest provincial modelling indicates the peak on the Fraser at the Mission gauge could be by June 4 or June 5, 2020.

READ MORE: FVRD evacuation alerts for some areas

How the weather plays out from mid-May to late June is critical. The 1948 flood resulted after sustained high temperatures arrived on the heels of a cool spring.

“High flows and floods on the Fraser River during spring freshet result from two factors: snow and weather,” according to the River Forecast Centre.

The lack of any extended early heat waves in May or prolonged heavy rain at peak time would be significant.

READ MORE: Higher than average snowpack raises flood risk

The provincial River Forecast Centre run by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development provides long-term and short-term forecasts for the Fraser at this time of year.


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Fraser River at Island 22 Regional Park in Chilliwack on May 28, 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

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