Canada: Water deficits through September in northern MB, eastern ON, & central QB

The Big Picture
The outlook for Canada through March 2017 (below) indicates pockets of exceptional water deficits (greater than 40 years) in northern Manitoba, eastern Ontario, central Quebec, and southeastern Newfoundland. Deficits are also forecast across the Prairie Provinces and British Columbia.

Impacts
With the numbers now in from the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Alberta's Fort McMurray wildfire - which lasted from May 1 to July 5 - was the costliest natural disaster in Canadian history at $3.58 billion in losses. High temperatures, high winds, and low snow pack combined to create a "perfect firestorm" that burned 1.4 million acres, destroyed 2,400 buildings, resulted in 27,000 personal property claims and 5,000 commercial claims, and forced the evacuation of over 80,000 people, the largest evacuation in Canadian history. Costs associated with health assessments and treatments for first-responder firefighters - who worked without their usual air masks during the marathon conflagration - have not been calculated.

Residents of Sudbury, Ontario are being asked to voluntarily reduce water consumption in the midst of one of the driest seasons on record. Toronto is the driest it's been in 25 years. Yet, a recent study from researchers at the University of Waterloo points out that flood-related water damage has replaced fire as the number one cause of household insurance claims in Ontario, and some area insurance companies are beginning to offer flood insurance for the first time.

Forecast Breakdown
As indicated in the 3-month maps (below) for the same 12-month period, large pockets of exceptional deficits are forecast to persist through September in the above-mentioned areas. Extreme (20 to 40 year frequency) to exceptional (greater than 40 years) deficits are forecast in western British Columbia, and deficits of lesser severity are expected across the Prairie Provinces. Surpluses are forecast northwest of Quebec City, on the southern shore of Hudson Bay, and in northern Saskatchewan.

From October through December deficits across Canada are forecast to diminish in severity and extent but may persist in northern Manitoba and along rivers in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Surpluses are forecast to emerge in southern Ontario and northern Quebec.

(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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