We have been receiving some nice weather over the past few days and it appears the spring snowmelt has started in the high-country. There is a lot of snow to melt in the mountains and warm temperatures are helping to get things going. Providing we don’t receive excessive rain over the next month, we should not be overly concerned about flooding on our local rivers.
Although the mountain snowpack in southwest Alberta is above average this year, it’s not the amount of snow that has to melt that can cause problems – it’s rain. Warm temperatures will do a good job of melting snow from mountain tops, but if we start getting copious amounts of rain at the same time, that’s where we can run into trouble. This combination of events has happened here before. I’m sure we all remember the flooding that took place in southern Alberta in June of 2013.
Water levels have been increasing gradually on our rivers and streams over the past couple of weeks. Now that temperatures are remaining above freezing at nighttime, the melt will continue 24/7, until it’s finished.
The spring runoff usually starts around this time of year on the rivers and streams around Crowsnest Pass. Most years, the runoff will begin to subside by mid-to-late June. It’s still too early to say how things will unfold this year. Hopefully, the big rains will not arrive until most of the snow has melted. Stay tuned!