Lloydminster and areas north and east of North Battleford are expected to see greater than normal spring runoff this year. According to Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency, this is due to conditions going into last year’s freeze-up.
During last summer and fall, the Lloydminster area towards Prince Albert saw more precipitation going into the winter. That moisture froze over the winter and, on top of further snowpack over the season, built up above normal conditions for potential runoff material. A spokesperson for the Water Security Agency, Patrick Boyle, says that run-off potential likely won’t pose for many issues.
“What that likely means is there’s more water on the landscape in that pocket, something just to be aware of. That picture can change if there’s more snowfall; we’ve got about six weeks left of winter, and rainfall during the spring runoff can contribute to that,” says Boyle.
That greater level of water on the ground may affect certain agriculture producers, depending on the area. Areas south of North Battleford, and around Unity and Wilkie may still be in the near normal category for runoff conditions. Other areas may see conditions get in the way of spring seeding, but the WSA says they’re not too worried about it just yet.
“It’s not at a level where we’re expecting a whole lot of problems just yet, it’s just something to watch for. It’s one of the only areas in Saskatchewan that did get more precipitation in 2018 and it’s contributing to that picture today.”
Well above normal snowfall would be needed in March to give rise to flooding concerns over most of the province. Spring rainfall may also affect runoff conditions and accelerate it. The WSA will issue another forecast in early April if runoff is not yet underway.