The outlook for Canada through October 2016 (below) indicates widespread water deficits across the country with pockets of exceptional deficits expected in parts of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland.

Albert is under drought watch as above average temperatures and limited precipitation are leading to soil moisture deficits in central and northwest parts of the province, according to one agroclimate specialist who warns that parts of the Prairies could struggle with spring plantings. In southern British Columbia's Okanagan Valley February snowpack is 122% higher than normal, increasing the potential for spring flooding. High precipitation has fueled heavy snowpack in McBride, BC, also, and may have contributed to an avalanche that killed five people. Likewise, snow levels are high at the basin feeding the Snare River in Northwest Territories, creating optimism that hydroelectric output will improve; Northwest Territories Power Corporation has been supplementing with diesel generation due to record low water levels.

As indicated in the 3-month maps (below) for the same 12-month period, pockets of deficits are forecast across Canada February through April, with pockets of surpluses expected in southern British Columbia and northern Saskatchewan. From May through July drought conditions are forecast to dominate much of the country with extreme to exceptional drought in portions of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. By October water deficits are forecast to moderate somewhat in severity and extent but exceptional deficits are expected to persist in British Columbia and along rivers in the west.

(It should be noted that forecast skill declines with longer lead times.)

Comment

Many analyses reported in ISciences-authored blog posts are based on data generated by the ISciences Water Security Indicator Model (WSIM). Other sources, if used, are referenced in footnotes accompanying individual posts. WSIM is a validated capability that produces monthly reports on current and forecast global freshwater surpluses and deficits with lead times of 1-9 months at 0.5°x0.5° resolution. This capability has been in continuous operation since April 2011 and has proven to provide reliable forecasts of emerging water security concerns in that time-frame. WSIM has the ability to assess the impacts of water anomalies on people, agriculture, and electricity generation. Detailed data, customized visualizations, and reports are available for purchase.

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