The Government of the Northwest Territories maintains water monitoring stations across the territory to keep track of water levels and flow rates in areas of potential flood risk for communities.
This information is provided regularly to territorial and regional emergency managers to help understand the status of waterways across the NWT in the lead-up to, and during spring break-up – the highest-risk period for floods in the Northwest Territories.
- The initiation of spring break up is delayed relative to average break up times due to cooler than normal spring temperatures;
- Snowmelt is ongoing throughout the basins in the south of the NWT;
- Ice is starting to break up in the upper Hay River basin (AB/BC sections) and we are seeing a small initial rise in water levels;
- Water levels are beginning to rise slightly on the Liard River at Fort Liard;
- Environment and Climate Change Canada are forecasting an upper ridge to bring warm temperatures to the Hay and Liard basins beginning next Tuesday (May 3) and lasting through to the weekend. This warm weather will help to melt remaining snowpacks and expedite the melt of river ice.
- Snow in the upper (southern) part of the basin is starting to melt;
- Water levels are beginning to rise, but the rate of increase is still small;
- Warm temperatures are forecast beginning early next week;
- Ice remains solid along the Hay River within the NWT.
Hay River near the Town of Hay River hydrometric gauge photo, April 28th. Photo courtesy of Water Survey of Canada and GNWT.
- Snowpack is beginning to melt across the basin;
- Ice remains solid along the Liard River within the NWT;
- Water levels are slowly beginning to rise underneath the ice at the Liard River at Fort Liard;
- Warm temperatures are forecast later beginning early next week.
- Break up is well underway in the Peace/Athabasca basins, which drain into the Slave River;
- Break up has not yet commenced on the Dehcho.
Mackenzie River at Strong Point hydrometric gauge photo, April 28th. Photo courtesy of Water Survey of Canada and GNWT.