Town of Canmore

Seasonal High Water Monitoring

Seasonal High Water Monitoring Update: 4:00 p.m. Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Bow River level is within normal range and is expected to stay within range for the foreseeable future even with the fluctuation from the melting of the remaining snow. There are no issues with the steep mountain creeks.  Unless a large storm is forecast to impact the Bow Valley, this will be the last seasonal high water monitoring report for this year.

Since the heavy rain in late June of 2018, the Cougar Creek channel has changed, especially in the area upstream of the concrete mats up to the debris net. The pedestrian door of the debris net will remain closed this year as it is not required for wildlife movement and due to the creek changes, it would not be a viable route for pedestrian traffic. Wildlife and pedestrian can continue using the ramp on the east side of the creek.

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. 

 


Previous Updates

Update: 9:00 a.m. Monday, July 3, 2018

The Bow River level peaked on June 24 and has been on a lowering trend since. Three Sisters and Cougar Creeks are flowing normally for this time of the year. Groundwater levels are high and many areas in valley bottom are affected. We received approximately 12 mm of rain over the weekend, with an extra 10mm of precipitation (mostly as snow) in the Cougar Creek watershed. Another 10-15mm is forecast for next 48 hours. With the low temperatures today, the creeks are not expecting to flow much higher than usual. 

Update: 9:30 a.m. Thursday, June 28, 2018

Rain and showers are back in the forecast for the next several days and we can expect up to 11mm of rain in the next 48 hours. The Bow River level peaked on June 24 and has been on a lowering trend since. All the creeks are back to normal flow for this time of the year and this should not change unless the amount of precipitation is higher than forecast. Temperatures are forecast to be in the mid-10s for the next couple days. The Bow Valley Trail culverts have been cleaned-out of debris. Groundwater levels are high and many areas in valley bottom are affected.

Update: 10 a.m. Monday, June 25, 2018

Over the weekend, the Cougar Creek basin received 53 mm of rain resulting in Stoneworks Creek finding its way to Palliser Road creating a bit of a muddy mess. Palliser Road has been closed since Saturday noon and should re-open early this week once clean-up is completed. Cougar Creek flowed heavily on Saturday and eroded its unprotected banks in the Wildland Park, as well as downstream of the Trans-Canada Highway. However, the concrete mats performed very well and there were no issues along the protected area. This week the Town will be re-shaping some of the banks where they are over-steepened to ensure public safety. The Bow River is still within its normal range and is not expected to increase significantly in the next 72 hours. Groundwater levels are high and many areas in valley bottom are affected.

Some periods of rain are expected for the Bow Valley for the next 48 hours. Temperatures are forecasted to be cool for the next couple days and these lower temperatures should slow down the snow melt in the headwaters of the Bow River. 

Update: 12:45 p.m. Saturday, June 23, 2018

The forecast is indicating that the rainfall is slowing, and while there is a lot of water currently in the creeks, there are still NO significant concerns on Cougar Creek. Please use CAUTION when approaching the creek banks especially upstream of the reinforced banks along Cougar Creek, and downstream of the TransCanada Highway near the 1A and railway tracks, as those banks may become unstable. For your safety, you are encouraged to stay on the pathways. Some flooding of Stoneworks creek has resulted in the temporary road closure on Palliser Trail west of the residential buildings. Crews are continuing to monitor water levels and will advise if the situation changes. There are currently no advisories on the Bow River. 

Update: 9:45 a.m. Saturday, June 23, 2018

While there are a lot of very large puddles from the recent rain, and the creek levels are rising, there are no significant concerns on Cougar Creek. There is some potential for nuisance flooding from Stoneworks and smaller creeks. We are monitoring water levels and will advise if the situation changes. There are currently no advisories on the Bow River. 

Update: 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 18, 2018

The Bow River is within normal range for this time of the year and there are currently no advisories. The creeks are flowing normally or not flowing at all. No precipitation is forecast for the next 72 hours to affect the creeks or the Bow River.

Update: 9:30 a.m. Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Bow River is within normal range for this time of the year and there are currently no advisories. The creeks are flowing normally or not flowing at all. Precipitation forecast for the next 72 hours is between 15-20mm. This is not enough to affect the creeks or the Bow River significantly, especially with low freezing levels which most likely mean snow in the alpine. Cooler temperatures, between 4C and 15C, will again minimize snowmelt.

Update: 10:00 a.m. Monday, June 11, 2018

The Bow River is within normal range for this time of the year and there are currently no advisories. The creeks are flowing normally or not flowing at all even with the 4mm of precipitation received yesterday in Canmore and another 6mm in Cougar Creek catchment (total of 10mm). With the lower temperatures, some of the precipitation has been in the form of snow. Minimal precipitation is forecast for the next 72 hours with temperatures remaining cool. 

Update: 12:00 p.m. Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Bow River level peaked on May 27 and has been on a decreasing trend since. However, it is still slightly above normal range for late May. Groundwater levels are still rising and many areas in valley bottom are affected. The expected precipitation was lower than forecast and is not expected to cause significant water lever rises in the Bow River upstream of Banff. 

A Flood Watch remains in effect for the Bow River upstream and including the town of Banff. A High Streamflow Advisory remains in effect for the Bow River between Cochrane and Banff.

Update: 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, 2018

25-35 mm of rain, with higher amounts possible, is forecast for the Upper Bow River Basin.  Snow is expected at higher elevations.  This precipitation, in combination with the higher than average water levels in these areas due to the snow melt that has occurred in the past few weeks, may cause water levels to approach the riverbanks in Banff (and upstream) if the highest amount of precipitation is realized, although no widespread flooding is expected with this precipitation at this time.

Flood Watch issued for the Bow River in Banff and upstream:

  • Water levels on the Bow River may rise ~ 0.2 m due to this precipitation.
  • This water level change would approach bankfull levels for the Bow River at Banff.
  • Peak water levels are forecast at approximately midnight on Wednesday (May 30).
  • There may be flooding of low-lying areas adjacent to the river, however no widespread flooding is expected at this time.

High Streamflow Advisory for the Bow River upstream of Cochrane to Banff:  water levels rises in these areas are expected to be lower than the upstream water level rises, and no additional impacts are expected in these areas.

Update: 9:15 a.m. Monday, May 28, 2018

The Bow River water level peaked yesterday at 187 cm in Banff. The same level should be reached today again. It is slightly higher than its normal range for late May. Groundwater levels are still rising and many areas in valley bottom are affected. Temperatures are forecasted to be cooler starting on Tuesday and that should help reduce the snow melt in the headwaters of the Bow River. Alberta Environment and Parks still has a high streamflow advisory on the Bow River and its tributaries. Over the past week, the Pipestone River has risen 0.2 m, the Bow River at Lake Louise has risen 0.2 m, and the Bow River at Banff has risen 0.3 m. 

Continuing mountain snowmelt has the potential to cause additional water levels increases along the upper Bow River and its tributaries early this week, although there are no significant flooding concerns at this time. 

Update: 9:00 a.m.Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Bow River level has dropped since its peak on May 17. It is within normal yearly range; however it is higher than its normal range for mid-May. Groundwater levels are still rising and some areas in valley bottom are affected. The pathway under the Bow River bridge is closed. There is still a high streamflow advisory for the Bow River. 

Update 10:15 a.m. Thursday, May 17, 2018

There is a High Streamflow Advisory for the Bow River. The Bow River level has been rising steadily over the last few weeks. It is within normal yearly range; however it is higher than its normal range for mid-May. Groundwater levels are rising and some areas in valley bottom might become affected in the next days. 

Up to 10mm of rain is forecasted for the Bow Valley today. There is potential for localized higher precipitation due to connectivity. Friday until Sunday is forecasted to be sunny with the temperatures returning to the mid-20s.

 

Update: 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Alberta Environment and Parks has just posted a high streamflow advisory for the Bow River:

Advisories apply to streams and their tributaries unless otherwise noted.

  • Snowmelt has increased water levels in the Pipestone River near Lake Louise and the Bow River upstream of Calgary, causing the flooding of low-lying areas.
  • The Pipestone River has risen 0.3 m in the last week and is approaching levels observed last year which resulted in the closer of a trail and picnic area by Parks Canada.
  • The Bow River at Lake Louise and at Banff has risen approximately 0.5 m in the last week. The Town of Banff may close the walking trails west of downtown in the next few days.
  • The Town of Canmore has closed the pathway under the Bow River bridge with additional closures possible over the next few days.   
  • The cooler temperatures forecast over the next two days are expected to slow the mountain snowmelt.  However, the 10-30 mm of precipitation forecast through Friday has the potential to cause additional water level increases along the Bow River and its tributaries.  There are no significant flooding concerns at the time. However, the situation will continue to be monitored and additional advisories will be issued as required.

Forecast Precipitation - Between Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning up to 40 mm is forecast for the Bow Valley west of Calgary with lesser amounts to the south and north. Isolated amounts of up to 50 mm are possible in the form of localized convective precipitation. The heaviest amounts are expected on Wednesday evening.

Alberta Environment and Parks is in close contact with weather forecasting agencies, including Alberta Agriculture and Forestry and Environment Canada.

Update: 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Bow River level has been rising steadily over the last few weeks. It is within normal yearly range; however it is slightly higher than its normal range for mid-May. Groundwater levels are rising and some areas in valley bottom might become affected in the next days. The pathway (town side) under the Bow River bridge is now closed. The other side will likely be closed in the next few hours or days.

Update: 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 14, 2018

The Bow River level has been rising steadily over the last few weeks. It is within normal yearly range; however it is slightly higher than its normal range for mid-May. Groundwater levels are rising and some areas in valley bottom might become affected in the next days. 

Update: 9:30 a.m. Monday, May 7, 2018

The mountain snowpack generally melts gradually, as warmer temperatures climb in elevation over the course of the spring and summer, and are not expected to cause river related concerns with rapid snowmelt alone. No significant water level rises are expected in the major rivers at this time due to snowmelt. The debris net on Cougar Creek was closed on May 3.

Update: 8:30 a.m. Thursday, May 3, 2018

Temperatures are forecasted to be in the high 10s for the next several days with little precipitation forecasted until Sunday night. This will promote snow melt in all the creek catchments. The current snow depth in Cougar Creek, at tree line, is around 46cm, 4cm less than on Monday. Some creeks have been flowing due to the snow melt and the rain of the last week. Depending on temperatures, some creeks may flow in the afternoons. The Bow River flow is still within average for early May.

Update: 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Town of Canmore has received 10mm of rain in the last 48 hours with cooler temperatures. The rain fell as a mix of rain and snow at higher elevation with a measured 10cm of new snow at tree line in the Cougar Creek catchment. The current snow depth in Cougar Creek, at tree line, is around 50cm - which is 20cm less than a week ago. Some creeks have been flowing due to the snow melt and the rain of the last few days. The Bow River flow is still within average for early May. 

Update: 11:00 a.m. Monday, April 23, 2018

High temperatures are forecasted for the Bow Valley this week which will increase the snowmelt. The current amount of snow in the Cougar Creek watershed is currently similar to 2017 levels at treeline. There is a higher amount of snow at lower elevations compared to previous years. Some creeks might be flowing in the afternoons. The Bow River flow is within average rates for this time of year. The Town of Canmore will increase its monitoring in the coming weeks, according to the forecasted weather.