Runoff potential near normal to below normal in Southwest

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March runoff forecast from Water Security Agency shows long stretch of below normal runoff

A portion of the extreme southern portion of the Southwest is being forecast to be in the below normal runoff potential category by the Water Security Agency.

According to projections in the March spring runoff forecast, there is an over 400 kilometre long region along the Canada - US border which is which is being forecast to receive below normal runoff totals this spring. The Water Security Agency forecast notes that runoff boundaries are only approximate, but their monitoring shows lower snow accumulations during the winter across the extreme Southwest.

A snowfall map by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada showing precipitation totals from Nov. 1 to Feb. 27 are extremely varied in the region, with most of the region receiving totals ranging from 60 to 85 per cent of normal and 85 to 115 per cent of normal. There was only a small area which was rates as having received 40 to 60 per cent of average precipitation.

The Water Security Agency highlights that irrigation reservoirs in the Missouri River, Swift Current Creek and the Old Wives Lake Basins are generally near normal for this time of year following a relatively dry late summer.

"Although there are areas within the basin with little or no snow cover, on average the snowpack is considered to be near normal."

The low snowpack in parts of the Southwest are in stark contrast to the well above normal runoffs forecast in the Prince Albert region.

“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,” Minister responsible for Water Security Agency Ken Cheveldayoff said. “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 Water Security Agency will continue to provide updates as the spring runoff progresses. The complete forecast including projected lake levels and stream flows is available at wsask.ca.

Organizations: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Water Security Agency

Geographic location: Canada, US, Missouri River Swift Current Old Wives Lake Basins Saskatchewan Saskatoon North Battleford

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