We investigate the relationships between meteorological, hydrological and glaciological data collected at Haig Glacier, Alberta, Canada, for the 2002 and 2003 ablation seasons. Correlation, lag cross-correlation and multivariate regression analyses are employed to assess the seasonal evolution of relationships between temperature, temperature residuals, total daily radiation, albedo, accumulation-area ratio (AAR) and total daily discharge (Qi
). Early-season melt is temperature-dependent, when AAR remains high and the hydraulic properties of the snowpack limit both diurnal discharge variability and a rapid hydrologic response. As the melt season progresses, a decreasing AAR and ripening of the snowpack induce a glacier-wide decrease in albedo, and a structured radiation–discharge response is observed. Radiation-detrended temperature values offer modest improvements over physical temperature values in multivariate regression models estimating daily discharge values. Using a detrended-temperature indexed melt model, we assess the transport efficiency of the glacial hydrologic system through a comparison of total modelled daily melt and observed discharge. Transport efficiency values support the notion of a purge effect during freezing events and at the end of the ablation season, and suggest that it is the evolution of the supraglacial drainage system that controls diurnal discharge variability.