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2024.02.22 Level Forecast

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.51 m (1058.1 ft), a 40th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level declined by 2 cm (1 in) over the last week and is expected to decline by 1 to 2 cm (0.5 to 1 in) over the next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 350 m3/s with no changes scheduled at this time.

The current level of Lac Seul is 354.81 m (1164.1 ft), a 20th percentile level, which is below normal for this time of year. The lake level declined by 8 cm (3 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 4 to 5 cm (1.5 to 2 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 225 m3/s with no changes scheduled at this time.

2024.02.15 Level Forecast and Lac Seul Outflow Reduction

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.54 m (1058.2 ft), a 40th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level remained stable over the past week and is expected to decline by up to 2 cm (0.5 in) over the next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 350 m3/s with no changes scheduled at this time.

The current level of Lac Seul is 354.89 m (1164.3 ft), a 20th percentile level, which is below normal for this time of year. The lake level declined by 5 cm (2 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 4 to 5 cm (1.5 to 2 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow will be reduced to 225 m3/s on Monday, February19.

2024.02.08 Weather Alerts and Level Forecast

A Colorado Low is bringing warm weather and rainfall to the Winnipeg River basin today. Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued a Special Weather Statement detailing the expected conditions. Because the ground is frozen and there is very little snowpack to absorb the rain, overland runoff and localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible. The mild and wet weather will also reduce the quality and stability of any ice that has formed this winter. Caution is advised.

Although the rain will cause rapidly increasing river flows and increased lake inflows, there is no concern for flooding of the major lakes. The rain will reduce or eliminate the snowpack covering the basin and conditions are forecast to be dry with colder temperatures over the next week. Adjustments to lake outflows may be required over the next few weeks depending on conditions.

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.53 m (1058.2 ft), a 30th percentile level, near the bottom of the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level declined by 2 cm (0.5 in) over the past week and is expected to increase by 1 to 3 cm (0.5 to 1 in) over the next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 350 m3/s with no changes scheduled at this time.

The current level of Lac Seul is 354.94 m (1164.5 ft), a 15th percentile level, which is below normal for this time of year. The lake level declined by 10 cm (3.5 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 4 to 6 cm (1.5 to 2.5 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 275 m3/s with no changes scheduled at this time.

2024.02.01 Special Notice on Basin Conditions and Level Forecast

A Special Notice on Basin Conditions has been posted to address concerns about the unusual winter conditions and recent regulation decisions.

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.56 m (1058.2 ft), a 20th percentile level, near the bottom of the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level declined by 2 cm (0.5 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 1 to 2 cm (0.5 to 1 in) over the next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 350 m3/s with no changes scheduled.

The current level of Lac Seul is 355.05 m (1164.8 ft), a 10th percentile level, which is below normal for this time of year. The lake level declined by 10 cm (3.5 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 9 to 10 cm (3 to 3.5 in) over the next week.

On Wednesday, February 7, maintenance at the Ear Falls Dam will result in a temporary outage with Lac Seul authorized outflow dropping to 240 m3/s that day. Once the maintenance is complete, Lac Seul authorized outflow will be restored to a new decreased authorized outflow of 275 m3/s on February 7. This outflow reduction will help to slow the rate of lake level decline.

2024.01.25 Level Forecast and Lake of the Woods Outflow Increase

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.58 m (1058.3 ft), a 30th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level declined by 1 cm (0.5 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 2 to 3 cm (0.5 to 1 in) over the next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow was increased to 350 m3/s today, January 25.

Maintenance at the Kenora Powerhouse is scheduled to end today, in conjunction with the authorized outflow increase. These flow changes will cause the level of the Winnipeg River to fluctuate by approximately 4 cm (2 in) directly downstream of the Norman Dam and by 2 cm (0.5 in) above the Dalles. The level at Minaki will not be affected by these flow changes.

The current level of Lac Seul is 355.15 m (1165.2 ft), a 15th percentile level for this time of year. The lake level declined by 10 cm (3.5 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 10 cm (3.5 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 325 m3/s with no changes scheduled this week.

To slow the rate of level decline on Lac Seul, a first outflow reduction is tentatively scheduled for February 7. More details will be provided next week.

2024.01.18 Level Forecast

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.58 m (1058.3 ft), a 30th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level declined by 1 cm (0.5 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 1 cm (0.5 in) over the next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 325 m3/s with no changes scheduled.

Due to maintenance at the Kenora Powerhouse, small flow changes are expected on January 24 and 25. This will cause the level of the Winnipeg River to temporarily increase by approximately 4 cm (2 in) directly downstream of the Norman Dam.

The current level of Lac Seul is 355.25 m (1165.5 ft), a 10th percentile level for this time of year. The lake level declined by 10 cm (3.5 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 9 to 10 cm (3.5 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 325 m3/s with no changes scheduled.

2024.01.16 Kenora Powerhouse and Norman Dam Maintenance Outages

Over the next few weeks, H2O Power will be conducting maintenance on the generators at the Kenora Powerhouse and Norman Dam. This will result in temporary generator outages and outflow adjustments at either dam. H2O Power has adjusted their operations to minimize the downstream impacts of this maintenance. There will be no change to the Lake of the Woods authorized outflow, which is currently at 325 m3/s.

Over two days starting on January 17, a flow switch of 25 m3/s between the Kenora Powerhouse and the Norman Dam is scheduled. This flow change will cause small water level fluctuations downstream of the dams. The level of the Winnipeg River is expected to increase by approximately 4 cm (2 in) directly downstream of the Norman Dam.

The same flow switch will occur over a two day period starting on January 24.

Maintenance at the Norman Dam, that will not affect outflows, is scheduled for January 31, as well as February 7, 14, 21 and 28.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Secretariat staff at secretariat@lwcb.ca or 1-800-661-5922.

2024.01.11 Level Forecast and Lake of the Woods Outflow Adjustments and Increase

Since the beginning of January, temperatures across the Winnipeg River basin have plunged and the region is experiencing its coldest weather since the start of winter. December was much warmer than average, with much less precipitation than average. With very little snowpack accumulated, many areas of the basin are classified as being abnormally dry or in a moderate to severe drought on the Canadian and U.S. Drought Monitors. In northern Minnesota, where a large part of the inflow to Lake of the Woods is generated, snow depth is less than 2 inches and ranks lowest compared to average snow depth at this time of year.

Although there is a lack of snow, the southern portion of the Winnipeg River basin, around Namakan and Rainy Lakes, was impacted by a series of weather systems in late December. These systems brought rain, resulting in a rise in flows in the rivers and inflows to the lakes. A series of outflow increases at both Namakan and Rainy Lakes was required to maintain the lake levels within their Rule Curves. Inflows to Lake of the Woods also increased in the second half of December. The lake level is no longer declining and sits at a 30th percentile level for this time of year.

In order to ensure continuous drawdown of the lake and to target spring levels as set out in the Regulation Strategy, a small outflow increase from Lake of the Woods is required.

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.59 m (1058.4 ft), a 30th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level declined by less than 1 cm (0.5 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 1 to 2 cm (0.5 in) over the next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow will increase to 325 m3/s on Monday, January 15.

This flow increase will cause levels on the Winnipeg River to rise by approximately 5 cm (2 in) downstream of the Norman Dam, 2 cm (1 in) at the Dalles and will cause very little level change at Minaki. Please be cautious when on or near the ice as flow and level changes can affect ice conditions.

The current level of Lac Seul is 355.35 m (1166.8 ft), a 15th percentile level for this time of year. The lake level declined by 9 cm (3 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 9 to 11 cm (3 to 4 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 325 m3/s with no changes scheduled.

Special Notice for Winnipeg River Directly Downstream of Dams in Kenora:

On January 10, H2O Power performed a flow switch at the Norman Dam and Kenora Powerhouse. While maintaining the Lake of the Woods authorized outflow of 300 m3/s (which is computed as the total outflow from these two dams), the outflow from the Norman Dam was increased by approximately 44 m3/s and the outflow from the Kenora Powerhouse was decreased by 44 m3/s. This was done to provide maintenance on the generators at the Kenora Powerhouse. These changes resulted in immediate water level changes directly downstream of the dams. This flow switch was not authorized by the Lake of the Woods Control Board (LWCB). It is the LWCB’s preference to limit winter flow changes and to provide notice to residents of any notable water level changes and any potential impacts to ice conditions.

2024.01.04 Level Forecast

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.60 m (1058.4 ft), a 30th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level declined by less than 1 cm (0.5 in) over the past week and is expected to remain stable over the next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 300 m3/s with no changes scheduled.

The current level of Lac Seul is 355.44 m (1166.1 ft), a 15th percentile level for this time of year. The lake level declined by 9 cm (3 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 5 to 8 cm (2 to 3 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 325 m3/s with no changes scheduled.

2023.12.21 Level Forecast and Happy Holidays

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.62 m (1058.4 ft), a 25th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level declined by 2.5 cm (1 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 2 to 3 cm (1 in) over the next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 300 m3/s with no changes scheduled at this time.

The current level of Lac Seul is 355.62 m (1166.7 ft), a 15th percentile level for this time of year. The lake level declined by 9 cm (3 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 9 to 10 cm (3.5 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 325 m3/s with no changes scheduled at this time.

The Lake of the Woods Control Board and Secretariat wish everyone the best this Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

Between Christmas and New Years Day the LWCB website will not be updated. Daily basin data updates will resume on January 3rd and the next Noticeboard Update will be on January 4th.