Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

March 2007

Plains Snowpack

As of March 1, 2007, snow course measurements in North Central Alberta indicate 20 of 43 locations recording the highest or second highest snowpack on record (up to 35 years of record). These highest snowpacks are concentrated in the Grande Prairie - High Prairie - Peace River region, the Whitecourt - Edmonton area, and the Cold Lake - Lloydminster area, with values generally twice as high as normal or greater. Nearly all snow courses in North Central Alberta had much above average snowpack, with all but 2 of the 43 locations ranking among the top five on record. Two of thirteen snow courses in South Central Alberta (in the Rocky Mountain House - Red Deer - Coronation area) had snowpack ranking among the five highest on record, with conditions varying widely from below average to much above average. Elsewhere, snowpack conditions as of March 1, 2007 are generally above to much above average in the Cypress Hills and the Fort Chipewyan area and below average to average in the High Level area. Seventy-one snow course measurements were taken in many plains areas of Alberta at the end of February (Figure 1).

Satellite estimation of plains snowpack as of March 1, 2007 shows the snowpack is generally average to above average in northeastern Alberta and varies greatly in the plains of southern Alberta (Figure 2). Significant melting of the snowpack in many southern plains areas has occurred since the end of February. Weekly updates to the satellite map are available on the Meteorological Survey of Canada website .

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