A below normal 2017 spring runoff is possible in most of Saskatchewan due to low snowfall totals.
The Saskatchewan Water Security Agency (WSA) released its preliminary spring runoff prediction on Thursday and said with the exception of the southeast region, the potential exists for a below normal runoff.
Agency officials said along with below normal snowfalls, the snowpack in many areas almost completely melted or was lost to sublimation during January’s warm spell.
Even if there is a below normal runoff, the potential exists for flooding in regions with closed basins as those areas are above normal or at record water levels following several years of high runoff.
In the southeast region, however, the snowpack is at near normal levels and well above normal in the extreme southeast corner.
Above normal runoff is expected in the lower Souris River basin below the Rafferty and Alameda dams.
WSA officials caution that this is a preliminary report and much can change over the next six to 10 weeks.
Higher than normal precipitation could significantly increase the runoff potential along with a rapid melt.
The next runoff forecast is set to be released in March.
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