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

The memory of last summer's drought has Alberta farmers worried about the coming season and evaluating their crop insurance, as snow packs that feed critical rivers in the province's southern pastures remain vulnerable to forecasts of warmer temperatures and lower precipitation. An agroclimate specialist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Drought Watch is also warning of low soil moisture levels leading into spring. In its March 17 edition Agriweek, a Canadian publication for agricultural and commodity market information, notes the lack of any snow cover and is predicting a very dry and early spring seeding season in the Palliser Triangle, a southern farming area in the Prairie provinces.

Forecast Breakdown
As indicated in the 3-month maps (below) for the same 12-month period, large pockets of deficits are forecast across Canada March through May, with pockets of surpluses expected in southern British Columbia and northern Saskatchewan. From June through August 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 slightly in severity and extent but extreme to 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.)


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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