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2024.03.27 Level Forecast and Outflow Reductions

The Winnipeg River basin is experiencing a temporary return to winter conditions. Temperatures over the past week were much colder than normal, with daytime highs ranging from -4 to -10 degrees Celsius, and over the last couple days, a Colorado Low slowly travelled across the basin, bringing 10 to 25 cm of snow. These conditions have caused a delay in spring inflows and at the current rates of outflow, levels on both Lake of the Woods and Lac Seul continue to decline. To slow or stop this decline and prepare the lakes for refill, small outflow reductions will be scheduled this week and next.

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.43 m (1057.8 ft), a 40th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level declined by 2 cm (0.5 in) over the last week and is expected to remain relatively stable, declining by up to 1.5 cm (0.5 in) over the next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow will decrease to 225 m3/s on Thursday, March 28th and to 200 m3/s on Tuesday, April 2nd.

Each of these flow changes will cause the level of the Winnipeg River to decrease by approximately 5 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 354.60 m (1163.4 ft), a 25th percentile level, which is at the bottom of the normal range for this time of year. The lake level declined by 4 cm (1.5 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 1 to 2 cm (0.5 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow will decrease to 150 m3/s on Thursday, March 28th.

The LWCB Basin Data page will not be updated on Friday, March 29th (Good Friday is a holiday in Canada) or on Monday, April 1st (Easter Monday is also a holiday). Daily data updates and publication will resume on Tuesday, April 2nd.