Canada: Water deficits to persist across southern AB & SK
27 November 2018
THE BIG PICTURE
The 12-month outlook for Canada through July 2019 indicates vast pockets of intense water deficit in the east, as well as some large pockets elsewhere in the nation.
Intense deficits are forecast to encompass large blocks in: Quebec from the Caniapiscau Reservoir to beyond Michikamau Lake in Labrador, near the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and around Lake Mistassini; Ontario’s eastern border; northeastern Manitoba along Hudson Bay; the Upper and Middle Athabasca River region and northwestern Alberta; surrounding Prince George, British Columbia, and the Skeena River region in the northwest.
Areas of surplus include: northwestern Manitoba; northwestern Saskatchewan around Churchill Lake west to Fort McMurray, Alberta; and, northern British Columbia around Williston Lake, and southeastern BC.
The 3-month maps (below) show the evolving conditions in more detail.
The forecast through January indicates widespread, persist, exceptional deficits across central Quebec (QC) into central Labrador. Southern QC will transition from primarily deficit to moderate surplus conditions. In neighboring Ontario (ON), moderate deficits are forecast for Southern Ontario which may be more intense around Ottawa, and widespread surpluses for much of Northern Ontario with intense deficits in the northwest and along the eastern border.
A complex patchwork of water anomalies is forecast for the Prairie Provinces and British Columbia (BC). Deficits of varying severity are expected in pockets across southern Manitoba (MB), Saskatchewan (SK), and Alberta (AB), and will be severe to extreme in SK. Areas of intense deficit include: north of Lake Winnipeg (MB) and northeastern MB; north-central SK; much of northern AB and the Middle Reaches of the Athabasca River; and, northeastern BC, the Upper Skeena River region in the west, and the Fraser River region east of Prince George. Severe to exceptional surpluses are forecast for northwestern Manitoba (MB) leading west past Fort McMurray, Alberta (AB); along the Peace River in western AB leading through Fort St. John, BC, and past Williston Lake; and, southern BC.
From February through April, the forecast indicates a return to near-normal conditions in southern QC and across much of the breadth of ON. However, a vast block of exceptional deficits will persist from the southeastern arc of Hudson Bay into central Labrador, fringed by surpluses along the southern edge. A block of exceptional deficits will also persist between Lake Mistassini and the Gouin Reservoir in ON. Deficits in the Prairie Provinces will downgrade and surpluses of varying intensity will persist. In BC, deficits are expected to shrink and downgrade, while surpluses increase and downgrade.
The forecast for the final three months – May through July – indicates widespread, moderate to extreme deficits in the eastern half of the country, and less intense deficits in the west with surpluses in northern SK.
(It should be noted that forecast skill declines with longer lead times.)
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NOTE ON ADMINISTRATIVE BOUNDARIES
There are numerous regions around the world where country borders are contested. ISciences depicts country boundaries on these maps solely to provide some geographic context. The boundaries are nominal, not legal, descriptions of each entity. The use of these boundaries does not imply any judgement on the legal status of any territory, or any endorsement or acceptance of disputed boundaries on the part of ISciences or our data providers.
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