SNC provides update on snow levels, possible snowmelt flooding

SNC provides update on snow levels, possible snowmelt flooding

“The latest survey conducted on February 15, reported an average of 20 centimetres of snow on the ground and average of 58 millimetres of snow water across our jurisdiction” said Sandra Mancini, SNC Engineering Lead. “Snow water is a measure of water content in the snow, it equates to the amount of potential melt water.” 

Mancini indicated conditions for all snow stations are normal for this time of year and are recording lower levels compared to last year’s February results.  

The cold temperatures and snow-covered ground provide South Nation Conservation Authority (SNC) additional tools to forecast flood potential during the spring freshet. Over the winter season, SNC samples snow conditions across its 4,441-square-kilometre watershed twice a month. At each of the seven stations, the depth and weight of snow is measured and recorded along with ground conditions. This information is used to calculate the amount of melt water or potential runoff contained in the snow. The data also helps estimate agricultural productivity, fertilizer requirements, waterfowl populations, and livestock and wildlife survival. 

In addition to surveying snow at seven watershed locations, SNC also monitors ice thickness at 16 sites along the South Nation River and its major tributaries when conditions permit. Last week’s survey found an average ice depth of 38 centimetres, normal compared to past year’s monitoring results. SNC uses data collected from these surveys and its network of eight climate stations and eight stream gauges to forecast flood potential in South Nation Watershed.  

Flooding potential will depend how fast the snowpack melts, how much rain is forecasted, and whether ice jams as it breaks up and moves downstream in the South Nation River. With weeks of winter still to come, SNC continues to monitor the snow accumulation and water levels and will provide updates in the event conditions change.    

“Residents can visit our Water Conditions web page at to see real-time updates on river flows and water levels,” said Mancini, “and we encourage people to email us at waterwatch@nation.on.cato provide feedback on changes in water related conditions in their area.” 

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