Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

March 2002

Plains Runoff Outlook

As of March 1, 2002, Alberta's plains generally have a below-normal to much-below-normal snowpack, and very dry soil conditions. As a result, the spring runoff forecast is for below-normal to much-below-normal for most of the province, except for a pocket north of Grande Prairie, where normal spring runoff is forecast (Figure 1).

Spring runoff is forecast to be much-below-normal in eastern and east-central of the province, including the Fort McMurray, Slave Lake, Edmonton, Lloydminster, Coronation, Brooks, Medicine Hat, Cypress Hills and Milk River areas. Areas along the western edge of the plains area (Grande Prairie, Red Deer, Calgary, Lethbridge and Pincher Creek) are forecast to expect below-normal runoff, with the exception of the Edson-Rocky Mountain House district, which is forecast to have much-below-normal runoff. In the north, below-normal runoff is forecast for the High Level and Fort Chipewyan areas. The only area in the province that is forecast for near normal runoff is an area north of Grande Prairie. This area had the best soil moisture conditions in the fall and has a near average snowpack this winter. As a result, normal spring runoff is forecast for this area.

Snow courses were conducted at many locations throughout the province during the last week of February. The snow course information is ranked by year for all sites and can be obtained by clicking in the area on (Figure 1) to obtain the data for that particular region.

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