Quick melt across Alberta prompts spring runoff advisory

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Quick melt across Alberta prompts spring runoff advisory
WATCH: The spring-like temperatures Calgary is seeing this week are definitely turning some snow banks into ponds, but the risk for spring flooding in Alberta really depends on where you are. Global News meteorologist Tiffany Lizee explains – Mar 19, 2019

As temperatures warm up across Alberta this week, localized flooding and ponding can be expected, but the risk for spring flooding really depends on where you live.

There was significant flooding across the province last spring and Alberta Environment and Parks said it’s keeping a very close eye on conditions this year.

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The agency has already released a spring runoff advisory in preparation for the quick melt expected to happen across the province.

“Above average” and “much above average” spring runoff is expected for most of northern and central Alberta.

Plains snow course results released by Alberta Environment and Parks as of March 1, 2019. Alberta Environment and Parks

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“It’s really important for people to be aware that it is springtime — we will get the usual overland flooding as we get rid of our snowpack in the plain, but as of this point we’re not really worried of anything from a river-related perspective,” said David Watson, a river forecast engineer.

“The greatest impacts will be in the places that still have more of a competent snow pack left, which would be areas north of Red Deer.”

Parts of central Alberta have snow depths of 40 to 50 centimetres.

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But for areas with very little snowpack, like Calgary and other parts of southern Alberta, officials say there isn’t cause for concern.

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“Even though we’ll probably still get a little bit of overland flooding and ponding – which is typical in Alberta — it won’t be as widespread and impactful as it was last year from an overland flooding perspective.”

If you do see anything of concern, like ice jams or significant overland flooding, Alberta Environment and Parks recommends reporting it to your local municipality.

To stay updated with radar and weather alerts in your area, download the Global News Skytracker weather app for iPhone, iPad or Android.

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