Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

April 2008

Plains Runoff Outlook

Spring snowmelt runoff is expected to be above average in many plains areas of Northern Alberta as a result of above to much above average snowpack (Figure 1). April 1 measurements revealed snowpack among the ten highest in 35 years of record in a band from Cold Lake to Athabasca and Morinville just north of Edmonton, to Peace River and north to High Level. However, soil moisture in many of these areas is below average, and a recent warm spell in April has since depleted some of the snowpack. As a result, the potential for significantly high runoff is diminished in most areas though is still possible, particularly in the High Level area, if the snowpack again melts very quickly or significant precipitation occurs during the month of April. In the High Level area, soil moisture is closer to normal and snowpack may not have been as depleted by the warm weather.

Alberta Environment is monitoring these areas closely, and will issue advisories as required. Also check the Forecaster's Comments on the department website throughout the month for the most current conditions.

The Grande Prairie - Edson and Fort McMurray - Wabasca areas are expected to record below average to average runoff this spring. There is a small area between Whitecourt and Edmonton where below to much below average runoff is expected.

As of April 1, plains snowmelt has generally finished for the season for the province south of the Edmonton and Lloydminster areas.

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