Winter storms were relentless across the Maritimes this year and some parts of New Brunswick felt the greatest impact. Record snow levels were reported in Moncton, which had emergency officials on high alert for the spring season.
While more snow doesn't necessarily mean more flooding, the province began taking safety precautions early on.
Karl Wilmot is the public safety officer for New Brunswick's Emergency Measures Organization (EMO). He says a significant spring flood depends on the type of weather the season brings. A gradual snow melt would be the ideal scenario, but a sudden rise in temperatures can lead to dangerous flood levels in low-lying areas.
So far, the province has been able to avoid any severe damage.
“The flood situation is stable at this point in time,” notes Wilmot. “We have water levels that are rising very gradually. The main pre-occupation at this point in time is ice jams that could or could not form and that's what we're watching for the most. We're hoping for little bit higher temperatures later on this week to get that floe moving and to have that ice break up and alleviate that problem.”
Forecasters predict near to slightly below average precipitation this spring and near normal temperatures despite the deeper than average snowpack. Still, authorities will be keeping a close eye on things as temperatures continue to climb.
“A drier than average spring might still have flooding if the temperatures suddenly spiked so that we had rapid snowmelt and just as the rivers crested the only big rainstorm of the entire season happened to make matters worse,” warns Bryn Jones, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.
Currently, a low pressure system is pushing into Atlantic Canada. It's expected to bring anywhere from 20 - 30 mm of rain to New Brunswick, and 10 - 20 mm of rain to Nova Scotia and PEI. Some light snow is also forecast in northern New Brunswick and Quebec's Gaspe region.
To stay up-to-date on the weather in your area, head to our Canadian Cities Index. You can also tune into The Weather Network on TV where the local forecast comes up every 10 minutes on the 10's.
With files from Lyndsay Morrison