River Ice Observation Report No. 3

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

River Ice Observation Report No. 3

December 21, 2016

Based on a RADARSAT-2 satellite image, the ice front was located at km 502 (11 km downstream of Sunny Valley) at 7:18 MST on December 21. This is 106 km downstream of the highway bridge in the Town of Peace River. Temperatures over the past week have warmed up to well above seasonal, greatly slowing the speed of the Peace River ice front advance. Gauge records from Sunny Valley indicate that water levels began increasing due to the advancing ice front on December 18th. With the warmer weather and consequent weakening of the leading edge of the ice front, gauge records suggest that consolidations occurred downstream of Sunny Valley between December 19th and December 20th. Ground observers and satellite images confirm that the ice front has stalled downstream of Sunny Valley since the 18th, and that very little ice is flowing in the Peace River. The ice front is expected to resume its advance over the holiday weekend as temperatures fall back to seasonal levels. The ice front is not expected to reach the Town of Peace River in the next week.
The ice front on the Peace River is now approximately at 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 18, 2016
    o Based on a RADARSAT-2 satellite image, the ice front was approximated at km 498 at 18:33 MST (7 km downstream of Sunny Valley).
  • December 20, 2016
    o A Sentinel satellite image located the ice front at km 502 at 9:54 MST (11 km downstream of Sunny Valley).
    o An afternoon ground observation located the ice front between km 502 and km 503.5 at 13:00 MST (11 km downstream of Sunny Valley).
  • December 21, 2016
    o Based on a RADARSAT-2 satellite image, the ice front was located at km 502 at 7:18 MST (11 km downstream of Sunny Valley).

Satellite Imagery