The Spring Runoff Report recently released by the Water Security Agency shows the southeast at below the normal amount of required moisture.

More snowfall and rain would be a great thing at this time of year, according to Patrick Boyle, a Spokesperson with the Water Security Agency.

"The forecast in general saw a bit of improvement in the southeast area," said Boyle. "In our preliminary look at February, most of the southeast was at that well below normal category, and with the recent snowfall, we've seen a big upgrade to that below normal."

"The farther east you go, in the Weyburn and Estevan area, there's actually a pocket there that's near normal, so that's positive. So more precipitation, more snowfall, as much as nobody wants me to say this, will be a great thing at this time of year."

He emphasized that more snowfall or rain in March will be a big help in the region.

"The March storm that we saw in the southeast area and the Souris basin saw between five and 25 centimeters of snow, so that's where you're seeing that increase," he noted. 

"We did see some ice layers when we were doing snow surveys in the Weyburn area, which may increase the runoff volume if we do see a quick melt. So that's something to look for here as we go forward. But generally, Weyburn and the southeast is in that below normal category."

Boyle said they first look at the fall conditions going into the winter freeze-up, which this past fall was fairly dry.

"Then we look at the spring runoff picture, what precipitation you get over the winter time, so what kind of snowfall at what time of year," he explained. "You're seeing that snowfall where there's a cycle there, you get some warmer temperatures, some more snow. So you get some layers of ice built up in that, and so what we do is go out and measure what's called the 'snow water equivalent' or how much water is in that snow. So then we take that and calculate, if that's to melt, what impact will that have on the landscape and how will we see spring runoff."

He said the next picture is how that melts in spring.

"If you get temperatures that stay that above five degrees, sustained throughout the nighttime as well, you'll get a faster melt," Boyle explained. "If you have that snow and that ice built up and you get a quick melt because of the temperatures, you're going to see a greater response in the runoff, versus if you had a smaller, slower melt, where that temperature swing of plus five minus five during the day and night, and that certainly makes a difference and has a slow gradual melt to it. So that's kind of how spring runoff works and where we come up with some of those calculations." 

He said February and March most often see a significant amount of our winter snow packs, and there is still a good chance we'll be seeing snow into April, as we have even seen snow falling in May, depending on the year.

"It's always an adventure in Saskatchewan in the area, as our province is very diverse. Sustained temperatures above zero will accelerate any of the snowpack that would be in certain areas and you could see potentially some water running and moving because of that, so that's something that we'll be watching and that's part of how we come up with our April forecast and how things are going across the province."

Boyle added that generally a near-normal potential runoff is still possible given the likelihood of more precipitation, and spring rainfalls are still needed.

"I think many producers in the southeast would be able to tell you quite quickly that they'd welcome some more moisture for soil."