The Water Security Agency (WSA) released the 2017 preliminary outlook for spring runoff, February 9th, 2017.
Most of the province has received below normal snowfall throughout the winter, resulting in a below normal runoff potential across most of Saskatchewan. Many areas saw the snowpack almost completely melt or lost to sublimation in January due to above normal temperatures. This melting of snowpack would have saturated the soil surface, reducing the infiltration capacity available for the melt of any late season snow.
Here is Patrick Boyle of the Water Security Agency.
This is a preliminary outlook and the snow pack could continue to develop for another 6 to 10 weeks. Also, it is important to note that a majority of the province was wetter than normal going into freeze-up in November of 2016. Higher than normal precipitation going forward and/or a rapid spring melt could significantly increase the runoff potential, and those stats will be broken down in the next Water Security Agency report coming up in early March.
John Ippolito, Regional Crop Specialist, says most producers in the West Central region aren't too upset with the idea of a below normal runoff. Ippolito said with the way most producers fields were going into freeze up, this will be more welcome news than anything. Ippolito cautioned that there is still quite some time for reports like these to change.
For more information on spring runoff or stream flows and lake levels, click here.