Town of Canmore

Seasonal High Water Monitoring

For more information on the Town of Canmore's Mountain Creek Hazard Mitigation Program, visit: Mountain Creek Hazard Mitigation 

Click here for more information on river advisories. 

Flooding can occur at any time with little to no warning. May 15 to July 15 is when we receive our largest rainfalls and are most likely to experience flooding. Understand, prepare and stay informed by knowing your flood ​risk and how to prepare for flood conditions. 

Are you prepared for an emergency? Visit Emergency Preparedness for more information.


2021 Updates

July 12: There are no concerns as the snowpack in the Bow River Watershed is within the normal seasonal range for this time of year. In the Cougar Creek watershed, there is no snow remaining except in isolated patches. Cougar Creek and Three-Sisters creeks are flowing normally for this time of the year. The Bow River is within its seasonal range. The pathways underneath the Bow River Bridge are closed and will likely remain closed for the next couple of weeks, until the Bow is stable below 100 m3/s (in Banff) . Groundwater levels are currently slightly higher than average. Some properties are still pumping water. Groundwater levels are expected to remain high over the next few weeks; however, no new issues are expected with high ground water without significant precipitation. This is the last report for this year, unless a significant storm is forecasted to roll through the Bow Valley.

July 7: The snowpack in the Bow River Watershed is within the normal seasonal range for this time of year. In the Cougar Creek watershed, there is no snow remaining except in isolated patches. Cougar Creek and Three-Sisters creeks are flowing normally for this time of the year. The Bow River is within its seasonal range. The pathways underneath the Bow River Bridge are closed and will likely remain closed for the next couple of weeks. Groundwater levels are currently slightly higher than average. Many properties are pumping water. In addition, there is a significant low-pressure system developing to the SW that will be bringing showers and thunderstorms to the Bow Valley later today, tonight, and into tomorrow morning. Forecasted precipitation varies; however, many models are now showing 20mm to 30mm of precipitation possible in the next 24 hours, with highest intensity forecasted between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., with up to 5mm/hour possible. Depending on rainfall intensity and duration, our steep creeks may see increased surface flow. Water ponding is likely in many areas of Canmore.
As well, seasonal temperatures are forecasted this week with showers and possible thundershowers until Saturday. Precipitation amounts of less than 5mm per day. The Bow River is expected to stay within its seasonal range, unless the upper Bow River watershed receives high precipitation amounts. Groundwater levels are expected to remain high over the next few weeks. Normal flows are expected for our steep mountain creeks for the rest of the week into the weekend; however, increased flows are possible if strong/severe thunderstorms occur later in the week.

July 5: The snowpack in the Bow River Watershed is within the normal seasonal range for this time of year. In the Cougar Creek watershed, there is no snow remaining except in isolated patches. 8mm of precipitation received in the past 48 hours. Cougar Creek and Three-Sisters creeks are flowing normally for this time of the year. The Bow River is falling back to within its seasonal range. The pathways underneath the Bow River Bridge are closed and will likely remain closed for the next few weeks. The High Streamflow Advisory for the Bow River at Lake Louise has ended. Groundwater levels are currently slightly higher than average. Many properties are pumping water.  Seasonal temperatures forecasted this week. Chance of showers and possible thundershowers throughout the week. Precipitation amounts up to 16mm are forecasted for the next 48hrs. The Bow River is expected to drop back to within its seasonal range and stay within that range for the foreseeable future. Groundwater levels are expected to remain high over the next few weeks. Normal flows are expected for our steep mountain creeks; however, increased flows are possible if strong/severe thunderstorms occur in the next days.

June 30: Some concerns in the one-week forecast. The snowpack in the Bow River Watershed is within the normal seasonal range for this time of year. In the Cougar Creek watershed, there is no snow remaining except in isolated patches. No precipitation received in the past 48 hours. Cougar Creek and Three-Sisters creeks are flowing normally for this time of the year. The Bow River is above its seasonal range. A High Streamflow Advisory has been issued for the Bow River at Lake Louise; however, there is currently no concern related to the Bow River in Canmore. Groundwater levels are currently high, as is typical for this time of year.

June 28: Some concerns in the one-week forecast. The snowpack in the Bow River Watershed is within the normal seasonal range for this time of year. In the Cougar Creek watershed, minimal snow remains on northerly alpine bowls. No precipitation received in the past 72 hours. Cougar Creek and Three-Sisters creeks are flowing normally for this time of the year. The Bow River is above its seasonal range. A High Streamflow Advisory has been issued for the Bow River at Lake Louise; however, there is currently no concern related to the Bow River in Canmore. Groundwater levels are currently high, as is typical for this time of year. 

June 24: Some concerns in the one-week forecast. The snowpack in the Bow River Watershed is within the normal seasonal range for this time of year. In the Cougar Creek watershed, minimal snow remains on northerly alpine bowls. 3mm of precipitation was received in the past 48 hours. Cougar Creek and Three-Sisters creeks are flowing normally for this time of the year. The Bow River flow is slightly above seasonal range. Groundwater levels are currently high, as is typical for this time of year. 

June 21: Some concerns in the one-week forecast. The snowpack in the Bow River Watershed is within the normal seasonal range for this time of year. In the Cougar Creek watershed, minimal snow remains on northerly alpine bowls. 15mm of precipitation was received in the past 48 hours. Cougar Creek and Three-Sisters creeks are flowing normally for this time of the year. The Bow River flow is within seasonal range. Groundwater levels are currently high, as is typical for this time of year. 

June 17: Some concerns in the one-week forecast. The snowpack in the Bow River Watershed is within the normal seasonal range for this time of year. In the Cougar Creek watershed, minimal snow remains on northerly alpine bowls. 19mm of precipitation was received in the past 48 hours. Cougar Creek and Three-Sisters creeks are flowing normally for this time of the year. The Bow River flow is slightly above its seasonal range, but it is currently receding back towards normal range. Groundwater levels are currently high, as is typical for this time of year.

June 14: Some concerns in the one-week forecast. The snowpack in the Bow River Watershed is within the normal seasonal range for this time of year. In the Cougar Creek watershed, minimal snow remains on northerly slopes at treeline; minimal snow remains on southerly aspects in the alpine, concentrated in gullies. 1.3mm of precipitation was received in the past 48 hours. Cougar Creek and Three-Sisters creeks are flowing normally for this time of the year. The Bow River flow is within its normal range for early June. Groundwater levels are close to their historical highs. Water ponding issues are possible depending on rainfall intensity this week, as our storm drainage won't be able to manage new water influx.

June 10: Some concerns in the one-week forecast. The snowpack in the Bow River Watershed is within the normal seasonal range for this time of year. In the Cougar Creek watershed, minimal snow remains on northerly slopes at treeline; minimal snow remains on southerly aspects in the alpine, and is concentrated in gullies. No new precipitation received in the past 48 hours. Cougar Creek and Three-Sisters creeks are flowing normally for this time of the year. The Bow River flow is within its normal range for early June. Groundwater levels are close to their historical highs, which is our main concern at this time. Many properties are now pumping water, a small amount of precipitation could create ponding issues as our storm drainage won't be able to manage new water influx.

June 7: Some concerns in the one-week forecast. The snowpack in the Bow River Watershed is within the normal seasonal range for this time of year. The rapid melting that occurred last week has stopped, due to cooler temperatures. In the Cougar Creek watershed, minimal snow remains on northerly slopes at treeline; minimal snow remains on southerly aspects in the alpine, and is concentrated in gullies. We received 12mm of precipitation in the past 48 hours, mostly in the form of snow at treeline and above. Cougar Creek and Three-Sisters creeks are now flowing normally for this time of the year. The Bow River flow is still above it's normal range for early June, however it is receding rapidly with minimal snowmelt over the last couple of days. The groundwater is at historical average and is creating minor issues in town.

June 4:  Alberta Environment has declared a Flood Watch for upstream of Banff (https://bit.ly/3po30aP ). Recent warm weather is melting snowpack upstream and raised water levels in streams and the Bow River basin. Forecasted rain will also increase the flow rate and level. The Bow River in Banff and Lake Louise is currently above average after rising 0.4m to 0.5m since June 1 and is expected to further rise 0.2 to 0.4 m over the weekend. Water levels for Pipestone River near Lake Louise may also rise 0.15m to 0.30m. Please respect all barriers and avoid flooded trails. Avoid riverbanks as they can be slippery and dangerous beside fast-moving water with significant debris. Avoid river recreation. 

June 3: Some concerns in the one-week forecast. The snowpack in the Bow River Watershed is now within seasonal range for this time of year. In the Cougar Creek watershed, minimal snow remains on northerly slopes at treeline; minimal snow remains on southerly aspects in the alpine, concentrated in gullies. Cougar Creek flow is fluctuating with snowmelt and has been flowing to the Highway 1A and CPR bridge late in the day, for the last three days. Three-Sisters creek has slightly elevated flow. The Bow River flow is now above its normal range for early June. It has been increasing in the last week with warmer temperatures. The pathways underneath the Bow River Bridge are now closed. The groundwater is at historical average and is now creating some minor issues in town.

May 31: No concerns in the one-week forecast. Current snowpack depth is above seasonal throughout the Bow River watershed. In the Cougar Creek watershed, 20cm of snow remains on northerly slopes at treeline and 5-15cm remains on southerly aspects in the alpine. We have not received any new precipitation in the last 48 hours. Cougar Creek flow is fluctuating with snowmelt and has been flowing to just upstream of Elk Run Blvd. Three-Sisters creek is flowing normally for this time of year. The Bow River flow is within normal range for late-May and is currently increasing with snowmelt and higher temperatures. The groundwater is at about historical average and will continue to rise in the next few weeks.

May 27: No concerns in the one-week forecast. Current snowpack depth is above seasonal throughout the Bow River watershed. In the Cougar Creek watershed, 30cm of snow remains on northerly slopes at treeline and 10-30cm remains on southerly aspects in the alpine. We have not received any new significant precipitation in the last 48 hours. Cougar Creek flow is fluctuating with snowmelt and has been flowing to just upstream of Elk Run Blvd. Three-Sisters creek is flowing normally for this time of year. The Bow River flow is within normal range for late-May and is currently increasing with snowmelt and higher temperatures. The groundwater is at about historical average and will continue to rise in the next weeks.

May 25: No concerns in the one-week forecast. Current snowpack depth is above seasonal throughout the Bow River watershed. In the last storm we received 36mm of precipitation in the Cougar watershed, with about half of it as snow at higher elevations. In the town centre we received 22mm, Banff received less than 13mm, and Lake Louise approximately 6mm. Cougar Creek was flowing past Elk Run Blvd yesterday and is now flowing to just upstream of Elk Run Blvd. Three-Sisters creek is flowing normally for this time of year. The Bow River flow is within normal range. Groundwater levels are slightly above average and rising, residents should be prepared for higher groundwater levels as we head into peak groundwater season.

May 20: No concerns in the one-week forecast. Current snowpack depth is above seasonal throughout the Bow River watershed. There was significant snowmelt over the last five days throughout the region. We received 10mm of precipitation over the last 48 hours, mostly as snow in the alpine. Cougar and Three-Sisters creeks are flowing normally for this time of year, with flows increasing in afternoons with snowmelt on warm days, or following rain events. The Bow River flow is within normal range for mid-May; however, it has increased proportionally with snowmelt over the last several days. Groundwater levels are slightly above average and rising, residents should be prepared for higher groundwater levels as we head into peak groundwater season.

May 17: No concerns in the one-week forecast. Current snowpack depth is above seasonal throughout the Bow River watershed. There was significant snowmelt over the last 72 hours throughout the region, with no new precipitation. Cougar and Three-Sisters creeks are flowing normally for this time of year, with flows increasing in afternoons with snowmelt on warm days, or following rain events. The Bow River is within its seasonal range. Groundwater levels are slightly above average and rising. Groundwater levels will continue to rise throughout May as we head into June, residents should be prepared for higher groundwater levels as we head into peak groundwater season.

May 13: No concerns in the one-week forecast. Current snowpack depth is above seasonal throughout the Bow River watershed. We received at total of 4mm of precipitation in the last 48 hours, mostly in the form of snow at treeline and above. Cougar and Three-Sisters creeks are flowing normally for this time of year, with flows increasing in afternoons with snowmelt on warm days, or following rain events. The Bow River is within its seasonal range. Groundwater levels are slightly above average but below threshold for creating issues. Groundwater levels will continue to rise throughout May as we head into June, residents should be prepared for higher groundwater levels as we head into peak groundwater season.

May 10: No concerns in the one-week forecast. Current snowpack depth is above seasonal throughout the Bow River watershed. We received a total of 18mm of precipitation in the last 72 hours, mostly in the form of snow at treeline and above. Cougar and Three-Sisters creeks are flowing normally for this time of year, with flows increasing in afternoons with snowmelt on warm days, or following rain events. The Bow River is within its seasonal range. Groundwater levels are slightly above average for this time of year, but below threshold for creating issues. Groundwater levels will continue to rise throughout May as we head into June, residents should be prepared for higher groundwater levels as we head into peak groundwater season.

May 6: No concerns in the one-week forecast. Current snowpack depth is above seasonal throughout the Bow River watershed. The Bow River is within its seasonal range. Rain and snow showers are forecasted with below seasonal temperatures expected for the next days. Groundwater levels are slightly above average for this time of year, but below threshold for creating issues. Groundwater levels will continue to rise throughout May as we head into June, residents should be prepared for higher groundwater levels as we head into peak groundwater season.

May 3: No concerns. Current snowpack depth is above seasonal throughout the Bow River watershed. The Bow River is within its seasonal range. No significant precipitation is forecasted and seasonal temperatures are expected for the next days. Groundwater levels are slightly above average but below threshold for creating issues.

The Town of Canmore is located within Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta. In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honour and acknowledge the Canmore area, known as “Chuwapchipchiyan Kudi Bi” (translated in Stoney Nakoda as “shooting at the willows”) and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Îyârhe Nakoda (Stoney Nakoda) – comprised of the Bearspaw First Nation, Chiniki First Nation, and Wesley First Nation – as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Blackfoot Confederacy comprised of the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3, within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. We acknowledge all Nations who live, work, and play and help us steward this land and honour and celebrate this territory. We commit to working to live in right relations and to advance Truth and Reconciliation.

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