Spring runoff should be near normal for most of the Southwest, according to the Water Security Agency. The March forecast and outlook on spring runoff was released by the province on Tuesday. So far the majority of Saskatchewan is expected to see typical runoff conditions. South of the Cypress Hills, the Consul, Eastend and Val Marie areas are forecast to experience below normal runoff levels. The northeast is expected to see below normal runoff as well. Central Saskatchewan will see above normal runoff, while the area north of Prince Albert can expect well above normal levels, the agency reported. “Central Saskatchewan, from Saskatoon and North Battleford to Prince Albert and Melfort, is expected to see an above normal to well above normal runoff in certain areas,” said Ken Cheveldayoff, minister responsible for Water Security Agency. “We continue to monitor the situation and the Water Security Agency will be doing targeted snow surveys to verify the amount of snow in these regions.” The agency reports peak flows in the Saskatchewan river system are mainly determined by alpine snow accumulation and spring and early summer rainfall in the mountains. If the normal amount of precipitation is received, flows are expected to be above normal for the North Saskatchewan and South Saskatchewan rivers. However, these are not predicted to cause flooding. According to the agency, spring runoff depends on factors such as moisture conditions from the fall, snow accumulation from the winter, the rate of melt in the spring and amount of rainfall during runoff. It added above normal precipitation prior to spring runoff or a fast melt could result in higher flows and significantly alter the forecast. Fall soil moisture conditions in the Southwest were about normal with the exception of the Swift Current area, where it was below normal. The Water Security Agency will provide more updates as spring runoff progresses. The complete forecast is available at wsask.ca.
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