Northwestern Ontario does not need any more rain with washouts, flooding and evacuation notices in the area, but Environment Canada has more bad news in the forecast.
Meteorologist Gerald Cheng says showers and possible thunderstorms are expected to develop on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, to continue what’s been a rainy start to May.
“We don’t need more water and we don’t need more rain. [But] unfortunately, it’s going to be unsettled. We’ll see showers develop on Saturday and Sunday. And there’s still a lot of May left. We’re not seeing a dry pattern for the area.”
The Kenora area received 24 millimetres of rain during a Thursday night thunderstorm, pushing the area past the average amount of precipitation for May. In May, the area usually sees about 80 mm of rain, and so far, only 13 days into the month, we’ve seen 86 mm.
The region’s precipitation record for May was set back in 2007, when we had 207 mm of rainfall.
The recent rainfall has combined with a snowy winter to create a dangerous flooding situation in the region. The area broke a 61-year-old snowfall record with 305.8 cm of snow this year.
Now, the Lake of the Woods Control Board says both the Lake of the Woods and Winnipeg River systems are above the 95th percentile level for this time of the year, causing back-flow into the Black Sturgeon systems and overland flooding.
The LWCB is forecasting the level of the Lake of the Woods is expected to rise by another 22 to 30 cm (9-12 in) over the next week, which could exceed water levels seen in 2014.