Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

April 2005

Plains Snowpack

Sixty-five snow course measurements were taken in many plains areas of Alberta at the end of March (Figure 1). As of April 1, 2005, above average snowpack existed in a band across central Alberta between Coronation, Red Deer and Edson and also in the Fort Chipewyan region. The High Level area had above to much above average snowpack. Below average snowpack was measured in the Cold Lake - Lloydminster region, and between Edson and Edmonton. There was little to no snow left north of Edmonton to the Athabasca and Slave Lake regions, west of Slave Lake to the Peace River and Grande Prairie regions, and south of Red Deer.

Satellite estimation of plains snowpack as of April 1, 2005 is available in Figure 2. In the Fort McMurray area, snowpack is estimated to be average to above average. In southern Alberta, little to no snow cover is left south of a line from Red Deer to Coronation.

Significant melt has occurred during the first eleven days of April, after these measurements were taken. The area without snow cover in central and north central Alberta has expanded greatly, as illustrated in Figure 3. Weekly updates to the satellite map are available on the Meteorological Survey of Canada website .Plains snow course measurements are complete for the year.

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