Southwest Saskatchewan is anticipating above average runoff this spring after Saskatchewan's preliminary runoff outlook was released earlier today.
The entire Southwest is in an area marked Above Normal by the Water Security Agency which released their spring runoff potential based on snowfall levels as of Feb. 1.
This preliminary runoff forecast highlights that some portions of the province have twice their traditional snow cover.
"Due to below normal rainfall in the last half of summer and fall 2012, the majority of the agricultural area of the province went into freeze-up with relatively dry soil conditions," the report stated. "Recorded Winter precipitation to February 1, 2013 across the entire southern half of the province has been above normal. The estimated water equivalent in the snowpack on February 1 is generally 150 per cent to 200 per cent of average for this time of year. Thus, above normal runoff is expected assuming average precipitation between now and spring runoff. If the above normal winter precipitation trend continues, 2013 runoff will likely be well above average.
Areas of the Southwest will also benefit from the fact that top soil moisture conditions in the fall were ranked in the "very short" category.
The Moose Jaw, Regina and Yorkton areas have experienced well above normal snowfall totals this winter, which will impact runoff totals in those regions. According to an Environment Canada chart, all of Saskatchewan's agriculture area is experiencing an approximately 200 per cent of normal snowpack.
With two months of winter remaining, the Water Security Agency will be watching the weather closely and issuing more detailed forecasts in early March and April.