May 1 snowpack continues to set records across the Yukon

John Minder emptying snow tube at Russell Lake. Photo credit: A. Mischler

The Government of Yukon Water Resources Branch has released the May 1 Yukon Snow Survey Bulletin and Water Supply Forecast. Results indicate that snowpack continues to be record-setting in the majority of Yukon basins, due to both historically high snowfall throughout the winter and a colder than average month of April delaying the onset of snowmelt.

Record snowpack was again observed in the Central Yukon River Basin (Carmacks region), the White River Basin, the Liard River Basin, the Lower Yukon River Basin (Dawson region), the Teslin River Basin, the Pelly River Basin, the Peel River Basin and the Stewart River Basin.

The Alsek River Basin, the Upper Yukon River Basin (Southern Lakes and Whitehorse) and the Porcupine River Basin, have well above average snowpack for May 1.

Record-setting May 1 snowpack in many watersheds in the territory creates a high potential for spring snowmelt driven flooding in Yukon communities. The weather in May and June will influence the timing and severity of snowmelt peak flows.

Quick facts 
  • Eight of 11 monitored basins have the highest recorded May 1 basin snowpack estimate, while the remaining three basins have well above average snowpack.

  • Every March, April and May, the Government of Yukon conducts Yukon-wide snow surveys to help forecast water levels and flow conditions across the Yukon.

  • The Snow Survey Bulletin and Water Supply Forecasts provide a summary of winter meteorological and hydrological conditions for major Yukon watersheds.

  • The bulletin provides long-term snowpack averages, monthly data and current snow depth and snow water equivalent (SWE) observations for 52 locations in the Yukon and five locations in the neighbouring areas of British Columbia and Alaska.

  • Snow water equivalent (SWE) is the amount of water released from the snowpack when it melts.

  • The May 1 snow survey is the last snowpack survey for the season.

  • For more information on how to prepare for flooding visit or


Sophie Best
Communications, Environment

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