Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

June 2006

May 2006 Precipitation

Much above normal precipitation was recorded in the northern half of Alberta, except for the areas north of High Level and Fort Chipeywan which recorded below to much below normal precipitation. In the southern half of the province precipitation was generally below to much below normal, except for the eastern-most portions, which recorded above to much above normal precipitation (Figure 1). May precipitation totals are illustrated in Figure 2.

Winter Precipitation (November 1, 2005 to April 30, 2006)

Most of northern and central Alberta recorded much below normal winter precipitation. The exceptions are High Level and a small area between Drayton Valley and Rocky Mountain House which recorded below normal precipitation. Southern Alberta recorded mainly below normal precipitation, except for Medicine Hat, Pincher Creek and some mountain areas to the southwest, and some mountian areas west of Banff which recorded normal precipitation (Figure 3). Winter precipitation totals are illustrated in Figure 4.

Fall Precipitation (September 1 to October 31, 2005)

Much above normal precipitation was recorded in a band across the province from Peace River and Jasper to Cold Lake, whereas northeastern Alberta recorded normal precipitation and the northwestern corner of the province recorded below normal precipitation. Most of southern Alberta recorded below normal to normal precipitation except in Rocky Mountain House, High River, and Claresholm where much above normal precipitation occurred, and the Drumheller, Brooks, and Medicine Hat areas where much below normal precipitation was recorded (Figure 5). Fall precipitation totals are illustrated in Figure 6.

Soil moisture conditions in agricultural areas of the province, as measured by Alberta Agriculture for October 31, 2005 , can be seen in Figure 7. Soil moisture generally ranges from normal to well above normal in southern and western Alberta, with the most notable exceptions being in the High Level and Edson areas, which range from below normal to extreme deficit. Much of east central Alberta is classified as having below to well below normal soil moisture.


Long-Lead Precipitation Outlook

Environment Canada's long-lead forecast for Alberta issued on June 1, 2006 for the June through August 2006 period is for above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation throughout Alberta, except for normal to below normal precipitation for north-central regions. Environment Canada's long-lead precipitation outlook is available from their website located at: http://weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca/saisons/index_e.html.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) long-lead forecasts issued on May 18, 2006 for June through August 2006 is for an even chance of above normal, normal, or below normal temperatures, and below normal precipitation in southern Alberta. The long range forecast for September through November 2006 is for an even chance of above normal, normal, or below normal temperatures and precipitation for southern Alberta. The NOAA reported May 11, 2006 that ENSO-neutral conditions are expected to continue for the next three to six months. NOAA's long-lead precipitation outlook is available from their website located at: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/90day/.

For technical enquires about this web page please contact Alberta Environment - Environmental Management Water Management Operations Branch at AENV-WebWS@gov.ab.ca