Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

November 2004

October 2004 Precipitation

Above-normal to much-above-normal precipitation was recorded in most areas of Alberta, with the general exceptions of the southeast corner and the northern third of the province where much-below-normal precipitation was recorded (Figure 1). Southern Alberta recorded much-above-normal precipitation in most areas except in the Red Deer and Manyberries areas and at the Bighorn dam where below-normal precipitation was recorded and in Brooks and Medicine Hat where much-below-normal precipitation was recorded (Figure 2). Mid-October storm events brought snow to the Edmonton, Rocky Mountain House, and Swan Hills-Slave Lake areas as well as the first snow pack of the season for the mountains and foothills (Figure 3).

Fall Precipitation (September 1 to October 31, 2004)

Much-above-normal precipitation was recorded in a band across the province from Peace River and Jasper to Cold Lake, whereas northeastern Alberta recorded normal precipitation and the northwestern corner of the province recorded below-normal precipitation (Figure 4). Most of southern Alberta recorded below-normal to normal precipitation except in Rocky Mountain House, High River, and Claresholm where much-above-normal precipitation occurred, and the Drumheller, Brooks, and Medicine Hat areas 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 for Alberta issued on November 1, 2004 for the period November 2004 through January 2005 is for normal precipitation, except for the northern third of the province, where above normal precipitation is forecast, and the southwest corner of the province, where below normal precipitation is forecast. Areas along the southern third of the Saskatchewan border may also record above normal precipitation. 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 forecasts issued on October 21, 2004 for November 2004 though January 2005 is for an equal chance of normal, below-normal or above-normal precipitation for southern Alberta. El Nino conditions remain in the early stages of development. As a result, above normal temperatures are forecast, especially for southern Alberta, from now until spring. Due to the current weakness of the El Nino, only a chance of below-normal precipitation is forecast for southern Alberta, especially during the February through April period. 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