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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.