Sask. March spring runoff forecast
By Top Crop Manager
Mar. 9, 2015 - Saskatchewan's Water Security Agency recently released its March spring runoff forecast. It indicates the central part of the grain belt is expected to be in the above normal range and could see some flows exceed the natural channel capacity in certain areas but should not cause significant issues. The rest of the province is looking at a normal to below normal spring runoff.
"We've had more snow than we would have liked in February and some of the surveys are showing more water in the snow which is impacting the forecast," Minister responsible for the Water Security Agency Scott Moe said.
The central part of the grain belt was upgraded to the above normal range due to the above normal snowfall in February which added to an already wet landscape. An above normal water equivalent within the snowpack was verified during snow surveys conducted by the Water Security Agency across the southern half of Saskatchewan in late February.
In the southwestern corner of the province, below normal snowfall and several melt events have resulted in the forecast being downgraded from near normal to below normal. Spring runoff potential north of Buffalo Narrows, La Ronge, and Creighton continues to be below normal.
Terminal lakes and wetlands that have no natural outlet to drain will continue to remain high for the foreseeable future and with a normal spring runoff could see some flooding issues. Many of these areas remain at higher than normal levels following several years of high runoff with little to no net evaporation.
The Water Security Agency will continue to monitor the 2015 spring runoff conditions across Saskatchewan and may complete further targeted snow surveys to verify snow accumulation. If the spring runoff has not started by April the Water Security Agency will release another forecast to update the situation.