Spring runoff conditions vary across Sask. in latest forecast

A varied spring runoff is currently being forecast by the Water Security Agency (WSA), with some areas of the province expected to see well below normal runoff and others well above normal.

Despite significant amounts of snow, WSA is expecting below to well below normal runoff for much of southern Saskatchewan.

Only areas east of Moose Jaw are expected to see near or above normal runoff.

“The hot and dry conditions throughout 2021 caused most areas of the province to go into winter with drier than normal moisture conditions. Therefore, despite significant amounts of snow, some areas with dry conditions at freeze-up are still predicted to have normal to below normal runoff,” the WSA said in an advisory.

Well below normal runoff in the southwest may also result in water supply issues.

In central Saskatchewan, above to well above normal runoff conditions are expected.

The province also said significant snowpack within the North Saskatchewan River Basin is creating elevated risk of a “dynamic ice breakup event” along the North Saskatchewan River, that may result in ice jamming and flooding similar to what was seen in 2020.

With an alpine snowpack that is well above normal in most areas, the WSA is optimistic that flows on the Saskatchewan River System and levels at Lake Diefenbaker will be better than what was observed in 2021.

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