Lake of the Woods Control Board Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
 
 

High Water Levels in June 2004

QUESTION:  Why were water levels high again in June 2004?
ANSWER:  Inflows to Lake of the Woods had been starting to fall off in early May and it appeared that the lake would start to slowly decline. Then a large snow/rain event hit the basin on May 11-12. This storm dropped over 100 mm of mostly rain on the southern part of Lake of the Woods and about 75 mm of mostly snow with some rain at the north end. Continuing rainfall events through the month worsened conditions and set a May rainfall record (highest since 1900) for the Lake of the Woods local basin. The Rainy/Namakan and Lac Seul/English River basins were also impacted, with both ranking 4th on record for May rainfall. As a result the inflows to the lakes increased greatly and the lake levels rose rapidly in spite of large increases in outflow. The increases in outflow in turn raised the levels of the rivers below the lakes.
 

Top Ten May Rainfalls

Since 1900     Since 1900     Since 1914    
  Rainy-Namakan Basin   Lake of the Woods Basin   Lac Seul Basin
    May Rainfall     May Rainfall     May Rainfall
Rank Year (mm) (in) Rank Year (mm) (in) Rank Year (mm) (in)
1 1977 137.5 5.4 1 2004 149.4 5.9 1 1941 137.7 5.4
2 1985 132.5 5.2 2 1999 148.8 5.9 2 2001 133.2 5.2
3 1999 128.3 5.1 3 1962 144.0 5.7 3 1959 131.8 5.2
4 2004 125.3 4.9 4 2001 140.5 5.5 4 2004 125.0 4.9
5 1962 122.0 4.8 5 1985 135.1 5.3 5 1985 120.0 4.7
6 2001 121.7 4.8 6 1998 130.3 5.1 6 1998 118.0 4.6
7 1963 121.6 4.8 7 1977 126.5 5.0 7 1969 115.0 4.5
8 1950 118.1 4.6 8 1930 121.7 4.8 8 1954 112.4 4.4
9 1970 117.7 4.6 9 1927 116.8 4.6 9 1916 109.3 4.3
10 1974 115.5 4.5 10 1938 114.6 4.5 10 1962 105.7 4.2
                       
Median   59.5 2.3 Median   57.3 2.3 Median   52.9 2.1