Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

November 2003

October 2003 Precipitation

Major October storms resulted in above-normal to much-above-normal precipitation in most of Alberta, however northwestern Alberta recorded near-normal precipitation and Whitecourt, Slave Lake, Pincher Creek and Coronation recorded much-below normal precipitation (Figure 1). Much of southern Alberta recorded normal to much-above-normal precipitation but some mountain and foothill sites of the Oldman and North Saskatchewan River basins recorded much-below-normal October precipitation as did Coronation (Figure 2). Two major October storms affected mountain and foothill areas of Alberta. The first storm brought rainfall to mainly the upper Bow River basin and the second brought snow to most areas (Figure 3).

Fall Precipitation (September 1 to October 31, 2003)

Generally, precipitation recorded in both northwestern and central Alberta varied from near-normal to much-below-normal, while much-above-normal precipitation was recorded in northeastern Alberta (Figure 4). In southern Alberta, precipitation totals generally ranged from near-normal to much-above-normal except at Pincher Creek, Coronation and the Bighorn Dam where much-below-normal precipitation was recorded (Figure 5). Fall precipitation totals are illustrated in Figure 6.

Long-Lead Precipitation Outlook

Environment Canada's long-lead precipitation forecast issued on September 1, 2003 for the period September through November 2003 is for above-normal precipitation in northeastern, east-central and southern areas of the province, below-normal precipitation in northwestern Alberta, and normal precipitation in west-central Alberta. The long-lead forecast for December through February is above-normal precipitation towards the NWT border, and below-normal precipitation in the rest of the province. Environment Canada's long-lead precipitation outlook is available from their website located at: http://weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca/saisons/index_e.html.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) long-lead precipitation forecast issued on October 10, 2003 is for an equal chance of normal, below-normal or above-normal precipitation for the winter period (November through April) for southern Alberta. NOAA's long-lead precipitation outlook is available from their website located at: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/90day/.

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