The Southwest is being forecast to receive above normal runoff this spring, but the Water Security Agency is not anticipating the elevated levels possible in other portions of Saskatchewan in the coming weeks.
In the Water Security Agency's spring runoff potential forecast released this morning, much of the Southwest is in the above normal runoff potential zone. A small portion of Southwest near Val Marie is in the near normal runoff forecast region. The area halfway between Swift Current and Moose Jaw begins the higher runoff forecast region in Southern Saskatchewan with well above normal runoffs anticipated. The potential exists for very high runoff levels in an area stretching from Moose Jaw, Regina to Indian Head.
The runoff rates are forecast in anticipation of a normal melt of the snow pack, while a faster than typical rate of melt will result in significantly higher runoff. However, a well above normal snowpack has created the potential for flooding conditions across much of the province.
“The rate of melt and how much additional precipitation falls as snow or rain in coming weeks will determine the risk of flooding this spring,” Minister responsible for Water Security Agency Ken Cheveldayoff stated in a press release. “However, if the precipitation conditions going forward are consistent with their historical averages, most of the province will experience an above average spring runoff in 2013.”
The Water Security Agency advises the forecast should be used only as a general guide, as local conditions may vary. The Agency will continue to monitor runoff conditions, and if necessary will be conducting more snow surveys to verify snow accumulation totals for improved runoff forecasts.
The full March forecast is available online at www.wsask.ca.
“We provide this forecast so that communities and residents can look at their local conditions and consider the best strategies to protect their property and infrastructure,” Cheveldayoff stated.