News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

February 4, 2020

PROVINCE RELEASES BASINS CONDITION REPORT



The Manitoba government is releasing a Basins Condition Report to provide a snapshot of soil moisture and river levels across the province at this time, Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler announced today.

“The report will present Red River and Assiniboine River basin conditions as of late January,” said Schuler.  “The actual extent of spring run-off is still largely dependent on weather conditions between now and April.”

As noted in the Fall Conditions Report, soil moisture levels range from well-above average in southeast Manitoba including the Red River Valley, southwest and southeast Manitoba to near normal in northern Manitoba.  In the United States portion of the Red River watershed, soil moisture levels were at record high levels.

Since November 2019, precipitation is tracking below to well-below normal in most parts of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.  However, precipitation in the United States portions of the Red and Souris rivers are tracking as much as 150 to 300 per cent of normal accumulation.  

Frost depth is below normal in most areas.  As moist and frozen soils reduce infiltration of meltwater and increase spring run-off, below-normal frost depth is considered a favourable condition in reducing the extent of spring run-off.

Base flows and levels in Manitoba rivers have been declining since the fall of 2019, but are still above normal for southern and northern Manitoba, and normal to above normal in central Manitoba basins.

Manitoba’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre is starting to build its first full Flood Outlook, which will be released in late February.  Forecasters will compile data from several sources including points south and west of Manitoba.  Weather developments from now through April will largely determine the occurrence, extent and severity of spring run-off in 2020.

Spring run-off in Manitoba rivers is dependent on soil moisture, snow cover, soil frost depth, base flow and levels of rivers, along with the snow melt rate and the amount and timing of the spring rain.  Peak flows on Manitoba rivers are also dependent on the timing of peak flows from the United States and Saskatchewan portions of the basins.

The Basins Condition Report is available at www.gov.mb.ca/mit/floodinfo/index.html.

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