River Ice Observation Report No. 2

(Pictured above: Complete ice cover on the Peace River at Fort Vermillion (km 832) on December 11, 2016.)

River Ice Observation Report No. 2

December 14, 2016

Based on a RADARSAT-2 satellite image, the ice front was estimated near km 580 (71 km upstream of Carcajou, and 89 km downstream of Sunny Valley) at 7:23 MST on December 14. The much below seasonal temperatures over the past week and a half have caused the ice front to advance rapidly, moving at least 200 km between Sunday morning and Monday afternoon. This rapid advance is expected to slow as the ice front moves upstream. This week, temperatures are forecast to rise to seasonal temperatures and are expected to continue to rise, reaching much above seasonal temperatures by early next week. This warming is expected to further slow the rate of ice front advance. Rapid warming increases the chances of ice cover consolidation near the advancing ice front. Consolidation of the existing ice cover may raise local water levels upstream of the consolidation.

Due to the above seasonal temperatures during the early ice season, the ice front on the Peace River is still approximately half a week behind its average location for this time of year.

Alberta Environment and Parks, and BC Hydro are in contact regarding river ice conditions and operation of the BC Hydro Peace River facilities.

Observation Details

  • December 9, 2016
    o Based on a MODIS satellite image, the ice front was approximated at km 916 at 12:00 MST (84 km downstream from Fort Vermilion).
  • December 11, 2016
    o Based on a Landsat satellite image, the ice front was approximated at km 854 at 11:46 MST (22 km downstream from Fort Vermilion).
    o Water level records from the Peace River at Fort Vermilion gauging station (km 832) indicate that freeze-up occurred at approximately 15:00 MST
    o An afternoon ground observation in Fort Vermilion noted that the ice had stopped moving.
  • December 12, 2016
    o A morning observation noted that the ice had stopped moving at Tompkins Landing (km 694) sometime before 11:30 MST.
    o An afternoon observation indicated that freeze-up had occurred at Atlas Landing (km 755)
    o It was estimated from the water level record at the Peace River at Carcajou gauge that the ice front advanced past Carcajou (km 651) around 16:00 MST.
  • December 14, 2016
    o Based on a RADARSAT-2 satellite image, the ice front was estimated near km 580 (89 km downstream of Sunny Valley) at 07:23 MST

Satellite Imagery