Wet or dry spring ahead? Depends on where in Canada

Snow cover in southern Manitoba has been sparse this winter, as shown across this field east of Starbuck, Man. (MarketsFarm photo by Glen Hallick)

MarketsFarm — There will be increased in risk of flooding this spring in British Columbia, western Alberta and parts of Eastern Canada, according to a report Friday from AccuWeather.

Meanwhile, dry conditions are expected to continue across the Prairies.

AccuWeather’s report forecasts below-normal temperatures for B.C. and western Alberta going into spring. That could delay the snowpack from melting, leading to an increased risk of flooding.

“The result of this expected weather pattern will be above-normal snowpack and river levels that may lead to a higher-than-usual threat for spring flooding due to excessive runoff and ice jams in B.C. and western Alberta by late spring and into early summer,” AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Anderson said in a news release.

Anderson, a specialist in long-range forecasting for the private weather service, explained there are two storm tracks, with one helping stir up storms across B.C. and elsewhere in Canada, something quite typical during a La Nina.

The other track will veer south into the northern U.S. Plains, taking away opportunities for precipitation from the Prairies. In turn, that’s expected intensify the current dry conditions across the Prairies.

“However, it is still very early and conditions can change quickly in early spring, thus additional updates on the spring flood risk are likely through the season,” Anderson added.

There could be a risk of wildfires in southern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba, he cautioned, should the dryness become quite severe during the spring.

For Ontario and Quebec, as well as Atlantic Canada, AccuWeather forecasts above-normal precipitation during the spring. While that will replenish depleted soil moisture levels in a number of parts of Eastern Canada, the likelihood of more precipitation could result in flash flooding.

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