Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

April 2005

Plains Runoff Outlook

As of April 1, 2005, spring snowmelt runoff is forecast to range from below average to above average for most of Alberta's northern plains areas, and from below average to average for north central and central plains areas, with the exceptions of the Grande Prairie - Peace River - Slave Lake - Edmonton area where snowmelt runoff is complete for the season, and the Edson - Red Deer area where above average to much above average runoff is expected. The snowpack in the High Level and Fort Chipewyan areas is above to much above average, and so above average runoff is possible despite dry soil conditions (Figure 1).

Significant melt has occurred in many plains areas during the first ten days of April, after snow measurements were taken. Abnormally high temperatures for this time of year prompted the River Forecast Centre to issue a High Streamflow Advisory for the Battle and Medicine Rivers and their tributaries, in central Alberta. As of April 11, 2005, this advisory has been ended as the high water levels in these rivers have receded.

Further weather conditions this spring could change this forecast considerably. These forecasts assume a typical spring melt occurs; a late spring or abnormally high temperatures as experienced lately could result in runoff at the high end of the ranges provided, or possibly higher, depending on how quickly the snow melts. The Plains Runoff Outlook report is finished for this year. Check the Forecaster's Comments on the department website throughout the month for the most current conditions.

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