Below normal runoff predicted for Southwest

Staff ~ The Southwest Booster
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The bottom portion of Southwest Saskachewan is the lone provincial location where well below normal runoff is expected this spring.
In the March Provincial Streamflow Forecast issued by the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority, a line extending from Maple Creek diagonally to Coronach is is the well below normal area. A line extending from Leader, Swift Current to Assiniboia is the southern portion of an area expecting below normal runoff.
The forecast is based on soil moisture conditions at freeze-up, existing snowpack accumulations as of the end of February, and assumes normal climate conditions will occur between now and the end of spring runoff.
The current winter snowpack conditions vary across the grainbelt region of the province from well-below normal in the southwest, to below normal in the southeast, to above normal in northern areas. In the boreal forest to as far north as Reindeer and Cree Lakes, the snowpack is generally normal to above normal. Further north and west, the snowpack is below normal for this time of the year.
"In northern areas of the grainbelt, above average winter precipitation, combined with a wet fall has created the potential for another high spring runoff in 2008," Minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority Nancy Heppner said. "But overall for that general area, the 2008 runoff is forecast to be lower than in 2007, with conditions that may vary locally. The actual runoff will be dependent on the additional winter snowfall accumulation and the timing of the spring runoff."
The area for the highest potential spring runoff is a triangular area stretching northward from Saskatoon to the boreal forest, westward to the Alberta border and eastward in a line through Nipawin. An above normal runoff is expected through the boreal forest area and as far north as Cree Lake.
The full March forecast is online at www.swa.ca under Water Management/Provincial Forecast.

Organizations: Saskatchewan Watershed Authority Nancy Heppner

Geographic location: Southwest Saskachewan, Cree Lake, Saskatchewan Maple Creek Swift Current Assiniboia Saskatoon Alberta

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