April 5, 2018 1:04 pm

Above normal spring runoff expected for northern Saskatchewan

Widespread flooding is not expected during the spring runoff but localized flooding, minor out of bank flows and over-topping of roads is possible.

Colton Goforth / Global News

A different picture is emerging in Saskatchewan for the spring runoff after above normal snowfall across the province last month.

In its March report, the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency (WSA) was projecting normal runoffs for most of the province and above normal in parts of the north and the extreme southwest corner.

READ MORE: Winter drought may spell disaster for Saskatchewan farmers

With an above normal March snowfall, two different outlooks are now possible for northern and southern Saskatchewan.

Much of northern Saskatchewan is now forecast to have an above normal spring runoff, with areas around Scott, Hudson Bay and north of Prince Albert up to Waskesiu Lake, likely to have a well above normal runoff.

WSA officials said widespread flooding is not expected, but localized flooding, minor out-of-bank flows, and over-topping of roads is possible.

Southern Saskatchewan is expected to have a below to well below normal runoff with the exception of the southwest corner. The spring runoff is expected to be above normal from near Eastend to Val Marie.

The Saskatchewan Water Security Agency’s April 2018 spring runoff forecast.

Saskatchewan Water Security Agency / Supplied

There is also the risk of a rapid melt due to the below normal temperatures, which could result in a higher-than-expected runoff and flood-related issues. WSA said it will monitor conditions and update runoff forecasts, if warranted.

Lake Diefenbaker is currently 0.7 metres below its normal level for this time of year. WSA said it should be at its desirable summer operating levels by July.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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