March 13, 2018 12:15 pm
Updated: March 13, 2018 1:03 pm

Normal, above normal runoffs forecast for much of Saskatchewan

While normal and above normal runoffs are forecast this spring for much of Saskatchewan, some southern parts of the province are in need of moisture.

File / Global News

Spring runoff is expected to be near normal or above normal in much of Saskatchewan after last week’s snowfall.

The Water Security Agency (WSA) said on Tuesday that this is a change from February, when below normal runoffs were forecast due to below normal moisture conditions at freeze-up and low snowfall amounts during most of the winter.

READ MORE: Winter drought may spell disaster for Saskatchewan farmers

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Snowpacks were brought back to normal and near normal levels last week when between 20 and 45 centimetres of snow coated parts of the province over a three-day period starting on March 3.

WSA officials said a band stretching from the North Battleford to Saskatoon and Yorkton, and down to Regina, along with the northern boreal forest, should receive a normal runoff.

Above normal runoffs are now forecast in the Buffalo Narrows area, the Prince Albert, Hudson Bay and Nipawin regions, along with the extreme southwest corner of the province.

While above normal runoffs are expected, WSA officials said flooding is not anticipated at this time, but cautioned that could change based on how fast the melt occurs or if there is additional precipitation.

March 2018 spring runoff forecast for Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan Water Security Agency / Supplied

Pockets of southeastern and southern Saskatchewan are still forecast to have below normal runoffs. Those areas include Kindersley, Swift Current, Moose Jaw and Estevan.

WSA said spring moisture is needed in those regions to address potential agriculture and municipal water supply shortages and officials said they are working with municipalities and producers on solutions to managing water supplies effectively.

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