Spring runoff expected to be below average

Herald photo by Shannon Lacroix

It looks like it will be a dry spring after all.

The Saskatchewan Water Security Agency released their latest spring runoff outlook Thursday, and fears expressed in the fall about potential flooding appear, at least for now, to be unfounded.

In its fall report, the agency cautioned overly wet conditions at freeze-up, coupled with an average snow pack, would lead to excess runoff in the spring.

That could mean flooding and other issues when the thaw comes about.

But the most recent update shows that as of right now, it appears there is the potential for a below-average runoff come spring.

While frigid temperatures have been the norm across Saskatchewan, snowfall levels over much of the province has been far below average.

In some areas, the report says, the snowpack has almost completely melted or be lost to sublimation..

The only exception is in the far southeast corner of the province. There, the snowpack is near normal, and above normal in the far corner, which means above normal runoff is expected in the spring.

The agency, though, cautions that this is a very preliminary finding, and more snow over the upcoming weeks, or a rapid spring melt could “significantly increase the runoff potential.”

For more on this story, please see the Feb. 11 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.