Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

September 2006

August 2006 Precipitation

Much below normal precipitation was recorded during August in northwestern Alberta and an area of southern Alberta south of Pincher Creek, Drumheller, and Medicine Hat (Figure 1). The remainder of the province generally recorded below normal to normal precipitation, except for small areas southeast of Fort McMurray, from Rocky Mountain House to Coronation, and south of High River which recorded above to much above normal precipitation. August precipitation totals are illustrated in Figure 2.


Summer Precipitation (May 1, 2006 to August 31, 2006)

Below normal precipitation was recorded in mountain and foothill areas and in most of central Alberta. Southern plains areas recorded generally normal precipitation. Precipitation in northern Alberta was generally normal to above normal, but there were localized pockets of much above normal precipitation as well, and the area north of Fort Chipewyan recorded below normal precipitation (Figure 3). Summer precipitation totals are illustrated in Figure 4.


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 5). Winter precipitation totals are illustrated in Figure 6.


Fall Precipitation (September 1 to October 31, 2005)

Much below normal precipitation was recorded in most of the northern half of the province. Generally above normal to much above normal precipitation was recorded in the southern half of the province, but below normal to normal precipitation was measured in much of the area between Edmonton, Wainwright and Drumheller (Figure 7). Fall precipitation totals are illustrated in Figure 8.

Soil moisture conditions in agricultural areas of the province, as measured by Alberta Agriculture for October 31, 2005 , can be seen in Figure 9. Soil moisture generally ranges from normal to an extreme surplus in southern and west central Alberta and the Cold Lake - Lloydminster area. Edmonton and the area north ranges from below to much below normal, and the Grande Prairie - High Level area ranges from well below normal to extreme deficit.


Long-Lead Precipitation Outlook

Environment Canada's long-lead forecast for Alberta issued on September 1, 2006 for the September through November 2006 period is for normal temperatures in much of the province, and below normal precipitation for the western half and normal precipitation for eastern half of Alberta. 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 August 17, 2006 for September through November 2006 is for above normal temperatures and an equal chance of normal, above normal and below normal precipitation in southern Alberta. The NOAA is reporting that ENSO neutral conditions (no El Nino or La Nina) are expected for the next three months, and neutral or weak El Nino conditions are equally likely into early 2007 . 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