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2022.06.27 Level Forecast

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 324.11 m (1063.3 ft), over 95th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level rose by 3 cm (1 in) over the past week. The lake level has risen above the 2014 peak of 323.78 m (1062.29 ft) and is below the record peak since regulation began of 324.31 m (1064.0 ft), set in July of 1950. The dams in Kenora remain fully open and no additional actions can be taken to limit lake level rise.

Upstream of Lake of the Woods, the larger lakes, Namakan and Rainy, have peaked and are falling. Tributaries in the Rainy River basin have also been in decline following generally drier weather in June. This has resulted in Lake of the Woods inflow generally stabilizing recently. The peak lake level may be reached sometime this week or next with drier weather forecasted for the next 7 days. A return to normal Lake of the Woods summer levels is unlikely before mid-August regardless of precipitation.

As the lake level stabilizes, the outflow from the lake will also stop rising. This will result in the level of the Winnipeg River between Kenora and Minaki, as well as below Norman Dam, to remain constant and change very little over the next week.

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.81 m (1170.6 ft), over 95th percentile level for this time of year. Lac Seul authorized outflow was reduced to 700 m³/s on Monday, June 27. The lake level has peaked and is expected to decline over the next week.

2022.06.24 Level Forecast

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 324.10 m (1063.3 ft), over 95th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level rose by 3 cm (1 in) over the past week. The lake level has risen above the 2014 peak of 323.78 m (1062.29 ft) and is below the record peak since regulation began of 324.31 m (1064.0 ft), set in July of 1950. The dams in Kenora remain fully open and no additional actions can be taken to limit lake level rise.

Upstream of Lake of the Woods, the larger lakes, Namakan and Rainy, have peaked and are falling and tributaries in the Rainy River basin have also been in decline following generally drier weather in June. This has resulted in lake of the Woods inflow generally stabilizing recently. However, rainfall forecasted for the weekend would result in a brief spike in inflow due primarily to rainfall directly on the lake. With this rainfall, the level of Lake of the Woods is expected to rise by a total 5 to 11 cm (2 to 4 in) over the next 7 days, with most of the rise occurring over the weekend. The peak lake level will depend on rainfall in the following days and weeks. Drier weather could see a peak after this week but wet weather would delay this. A return to normal Lake of the Woods summer levels is unlikely before mid-August regardless of precipitation.

As the lake level rises slightly, the outflow from the lake will also gradually rise. This will result in the level of the Winnipeg River between Kenora and Minaki rising slightly, with any local precipitation adding temporarily to levels in this stretch of the river. The Winnipeg River level rise over the next 7 days below Norman Dam is expected to be 2-4 cm (1-2 in) with less rise further downstream from Kenora. 

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.83 m (1170.7 ft), over 95th percentile level for this time of year. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 800 m³/s. A reduction in outflow, to between 650 -700 m³/s, is planned for Monday, June 27, the rate dependent on rainfall received over the weekend.

The following forecast for the Winnipeg River in Manitoba was provided by Manitoba Hydro.

2022.06.22 Level Forecast

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 324.09 m (1063.3 ft), over 95th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level rose by 4 cm (1 in) over the past week. The lake level has risen above the 2014 peak of 323.78 m (1062.29 ft) and is below the record peak since regulation began of 324.31 m (1064.0 ft), set in July of 1950. The dams in Kenora remain fully open and no additional actions can be taken to limit lake level rise.

The level of Lake of the Woods is expected to rise slightly over the next 7 days with an increase of 2 to 5 cm (0.5 to 2 in). There continues to be short-lived precipitation events predicted in the forecast. This, in combination with the general trend of average precipitation so far in the month of June (see map below), is causing inflows to the lake to remain stable or decrease very slowly. If this weather pattern continues, it could temporarily delay reaching a peak and a return to normal summer levels will likely take many weeks. A return to more sustained wet weather could result in a second, higher peak.

As the lake level rises slightly, the outflow from the lake will also very gradually rise. This will result in the level of the Winnipeg River between Kenora and Minaki to rise slightly, with any local precipitation adding temporarily to levels in this stretch of the river. The Winnipeg River level rise over the next 7 days below Norman Dam is expected to be 3-5 cm (1-2 in) with less rise further downstream from Kenora, of up to 2.5 cm (1 in) at Minaki. 

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.82 m (1170.7 ft), over 95th percentile level for this time of year. Lac Seul inflow continues to decline steadily. Therefore the lake level remained stable over the past week and may be at it’s peak. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 800 m³/s with no changes currently scheduled.

Conditions throughout the basin have remained stable since the beginning of June, with short-lived, scattered precipitation events bringing average amounts of rainfall for most areas of the basin. Compared to average rainfall totals for the period of June 1st to today, most of the basin has received 60 to 100% of these totals, with few pockets of slightly higher or lower amounts. This return to normal weather conditions will help lake levels reach a peak and if sustained, will result in the steady decline of lake levels over the course of the summer.

2022.06.20 Level Forecast

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 324.08 m (1063.2 ft), over 95th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level rose by 5.5 cm (2 in) over the past week. The lake level has risen above the 2014 peak of 323.78 m (1062.29 ft) and is below the record peak since regulation began of 324.31 m (1064.0 ft), set in July of 1950. The dams in Kenora remain fully open and no additional actions can be taken to limit lake level rise.

The level of Lake of the Woods is expected to rise slightly over the next 7 days with an increase of 2 to 8 cm (0.5 to 3 in). There is some uncertainty in the forecast related to a cold front passing through the basin on June 21st. Where this line of thunderstorms tracks and how severe local precipitation could be will directly effect the amount of rise seen on the lake level this week. This forecasted precipitation could temporarily delay reaching a peak and a return to normal summer levels will likely take many weeks. A return to more sustained wet weather could result in a second, higher peak.

As the lake level rises slightly, the outflow from the lake will also very gradually rise. This will result in the level of the Winnipeg River between Kenora and Minaki to rise slightly, with any local precipitation adding temporarily to levels in this stretch of the river. The Winnipeg River level rise over the next 7 days below Norman Dam is expected to be 5-7 cm (2-3 in) with less rise further downstream from Kenora, of up to 2.5 cm (1 in) at Minaki. 

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.85 m (1170.7 ft), over 95th percentile level for this time of year. Lac Seul inflow continues to decline steadily. The resulting rise in lake level was 3 cm (1 in) over the past week and the lake may be near a peak. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 800 m³/s with no changes currently scheduled.

2022.06.17 Level Forecast

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 324.06 m (1063.2 ft), over 95th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level rose by 6 cm (2 in) over the past week. The lake level has risen above the 2014 peak of 323.78 m (1062.29 ft) and is below the record peak since regulation began of 324.31 m (1064.0 ft), set in July of 1950. The dams in Kenora remain fully open and no additional actions can be taken to limit lake level rise.

The level of Lake of the Woods is expected to remain quite stable or rise very little over the next 7 days with an increase of up to 2 cm (0.5 in). Should weather remain favourable, the lake level may be near a peak. However, a return to normal summer levels will likely take many weeks. A return to wet weather could result in a second, higher peak.

As the lake gradually stabilizes, the outflow from the lake will change little. This should result in the level of the Winnipeg River between Kenora and Minaki to also stabilize, with any local precipitation adding temporarily to levels in this stretch of the river. The Winnipeg River level rise over the next 7 days below Norman Dam is expected to be no more than 1-2 cm (0.5 in) with less rise further downstream from Kenora, reaching less than 1 cm (0.5 in) at Minaki. 

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.83 m (1170.7 ft), over 95th percentile level for this time of year. Lac Seul inflow remains high, but is gradually declining. The resulting rise in lake level was 4 cm (1 in) over the past week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 800 m³/s with no changes currently scheduled.

The following forecast for the Winnipeg River in Manitoba was provided by Manitoba Hydro.

2022.06.16 Update on Conditions

Conditions throughout the basin are slowly improving as the extremely wet conditions seen in April and May are being replaced with drier conditions so far in June. Precipitation since the beginning of the month has remained at or below average for all areas of the basin. The map and table shown below indicate that total basin mean precipitation amounts for the first two weeks of June were less than 10 mm (0.5 in) for most of the basin and no more than 25 mm (1 inch) for northern portions of the basin. These amounts correspond to a range of 17th to 32nd percentile, which is less than normal.

Basin mean precipitation June 1- 15 / Source: Canadian Precipitation Analysis
June 1 – 15 Precipitation Totals for Lake of the Woods and Lac Seul

These much drier conditions have caused all tributary flows to drop significantly and most are now approaching high normal levels for this time of year. With less water in the system, all major lake inflows have also peaked and are steadily trending downward. As lake inflows are approaching lake outflows, the rise in lake levels are also gradually decreasing.

In the short term, these decreases in flows and levels are highly dependent on continued dry conditions with even moderate rainfall pausing the return to normal conditions. As the basin continues to drain and tributary conditions return to normal, the lake levels will follow suit and continue to drop. This process will take many weeks and high lake levels for the major lakes and rivers are expected to continue throughout July and into August.

2022.06.15 Level Forecast

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 324.05 m (1063.1 ft), over 95th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level rose by 6.5 cm (2 in) over the past week. The lake level has risen above the 2014 peak of 323.78 m (1062.29 ft) and is below the record peak since regulation began of 324.31 m (1064.0 ft), set in July of 1950. The dams in Kenora remain fully open and no additional actions can be taken to limit lake level rise.

The level of Lake of the Woods is expected to remain quite stable over the next 7 days with a decrease of less than 1 cm (0.5 in) or an increase of up to 2 cm (1 in), depending on the rainfall received across the region. Should weather be favourable, the lake level may be near a peak. However, a return to normal summer levels will likely take many weeks. A return to wet weather could result in a second, higher peak.

As the lake gradually stabilizes, the outflow from the lake will change little. This should result in the level of the Winnipeg River between Kenora and Minaki to also stabilize, with any local precipitation adding temporarily to levels in this stretch of the river. The Winnipeg River level rise over the next 7 days below Norman Dam is expected to be no more than 1-2 cm (0.5 in) with less rise further downstream from Kenora, reaching less than 1 cm (0.5 in) at Minaki. 

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.83 m (1170.7 ft), over 95th percentile level for this time of year. Lac Seul inflow remains very high, resulting in a rise of 6 cm (2.5 in) over the past week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 800 m³/s with no changes currently scheduled.

2022.06.13 Level Forecasts

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 324.03 m (1063.1 ft), over 95th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level rose by 6 cm (2.5 in) over the past week. The lake level has risen above the 2014 peak of 323.78 m (1062.29 ft) and is below the record peak since regulation began of 324.31 m (1064.0 ft), set in July of 1950. The dams in Kenora remain fully open and no additional actions can be taken to limit lake level rise.

The level of Lake of the Woods is expected to rise by approximately 5-8 cm (2-3 in) over the next 7 days, depending on the rainfall received across the region. Should weather be favourable, a peak may be reached by the end of June followed by a gradual drop. However, a return to normal summer levels will likely take many weeks and will be delayed should there be a return to wet weather.

As the lake continues to rise, the outflow from the lake will very gradually rise. This should result in the level of the Winnipeg River between Kenora and Minaki also gradually rising, with any local precipitation adding temporarily to levels in this stretch of the river. The Winnipeg River level rise over the next 7 days below Norman Dam expected to be 3-6 cm (1-2 in) with less rise further downstream from Kenora, reaching 1-2 cm (1 in) at Minaki. 

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.82 m (1170.7 ft), over 95th percentile level for this time of year. Lac Seul inflow remains very high, resulting in a rise of 7 cm (3 in) over the past week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 800 m³/s with no changes currently scheduled.

2022.06.10 Level Forecasts

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 324.01 m (1063.0 ft), over 95th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level rose by 7 cm (3 in) over the past week. The lake level has risen above the 2014 peak of 323.78 m (1062.29 ft) and is below the record peak since regulation began of 324.31 m (1064.0 ft), set in July of 1950. The dams in Kenora remain fully open and no additional actions can be taken to limit lake level rise.

The level of Lake of the Woods is expected to rise by approximately 3-7 cm (1-3 in) over the next 7 days, depending on the rainfall received across the region. Should weather be favourable, a peak may be reached by the third week of June followed by a gradual drop. However, a return to normal summer levels will likely take many weeks and will be delayed should there be a return to wet weather.

As the lake continues to rise, the outflow from the lake will very gradually rise. This should result in the level of the Winnipeg River between Kenora and Minaki also gradually rising, with any local precipitation adding temporarily to levels in this stretch of the river. The level rise over the next 7 days below Norman Dam and down to Minaki is expected to be 1-2 cm (1 in).  Outflow from the Whitedog dam is expected to increase very gradually as it passes the water coming from the Norman dam, plus any local inflows.

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.80 m (1170.6 ft), over 95th percentile level for this time of year. Lac Seul inflow remains very high, resulting in a rise of 8 cm (3 in) over the past week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 800 m³/s with no changes currently scheduled.

The main body of Lac Seul is expected to either drop by 1 cm (1/2 in) or rise by 2.5 cm (1 in) over the next 7 days depending on the amount of rainfall received.

Flows and levels on the English River downstream of Lac Seul, including the level at Grassy Narrows, are expected to continue declining as local tributary flows continue to fall.  The level of the Winnipeg River at Boundary Falls is expected to continue dropping over the coming week.

The rate of level decline on the lakes and rivers could slow if the region experiences higher than expected rainfall over the coming week.  However, the overall declining trends are not expected to change over the next week.

2022.06.08 Level forecasts

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 323.99 m (1063.0 ft), over 95th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level rose by 8 cm (3 in) over the past week. The lake level has risen above the 2014 peak of 323.78 m (1062.29 ft) and is below the record peak since regulation began of 324.31 m (1064.0 ft), set in July of 1950. The dams in Kenora remain fully open and no additional actions can be taken to limit lake level rise.

The level of Lake of the Woods is expected to rise by approximately 6-10 cm (2-4 in) over the next 7 days, depending on the rainfall received across the region. Should weather be favourable, a peak may be reached by mid-June followed by a gradual drop. However, a return to normal summer levels will likely take many weeks and will be delayed should there be a return to wet weather.

As the lake continues to rise, the outflow from the lake will very gradually rise. This should result in the level of the Winnipeg River between Kenora and Minaki also gradually rising, with any local precipitation adding temporarily to levels in this stretch of the river. The level rise over the next 7 days below Norman Dam and down to Minaki is expected to be 1-2 cm (1 in).  Outflow from the Whitedog dam is expected to increase very gradually as it passes the water coming from the Norman dam, plus any local inflows.

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.78 m (1170.5 ft), over 95th percentile level for this time of year. Lac Seul inflow remains very high, resulting in a rise of 12 cm (5 in) over the past week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 800 m³/s with no changes currently scheduled.

The main body of Lac Seul is expected to rise by 2-6 cm (1-2 in) over the next 7 days with the rate of rise continuing to slow if drier weather persists through the forecast period.

Flows and levels on the English River downstream of Lac Seul are expected to remain steady or continue declining as local tributaries have been declining over the past week.  The level of the English River at Grassy Narrows  is expected to continue dropping over the coming week if the drier weather persists through the forecast period.

The level of the Winnipeg River at Boundary Falls  is expected to continue dropping over the coming week if the drier weather persists through the forecast period.