Northwestern Ontario residents should be battening down the hatches today ahead of some potentially heavy downpours in parts of the region, and drivers should be prepared for the worst.

Environment Canada issued a heavy rainfall warning for the Kenora, Grassy Narrows, Wabaseemoong, Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls and Morson areas early this morning, calling for up to 60 mm of rain and multiple thunderstorms.

Environment Canada Meteorologist, Steven Filsfeder, says a very slow-moving weather system has been tracking east above us over the past two days, causing the recent wet weather and today’s storm activity.

“We’ve seen very localized, heavy [rainfall] amounts over the past couple of days. Similar story over the next 24 to 36 hours to be expected as well. It’s expected to continue through today and early tomorrow as well, giving heavy, localized amounts. And we are expecting thunderstorms.”

Filsfeder says the estimated rainfall amounts have varied between different measuring locations in the area, with the Kenora Airport recording only 15 mm, but others recording up to 75 mm over the last two days.

“Any one particular area may receive anywhere from as little as 5 mm, to up to 45 to 50 mm. It could be very little where you are, but if you go down the road, it could be a washout. It’s important to pay attention to road conditions as well as visibility with these showers.”

Residents are reminded to seek shelter if threatening weather approaches and to not leave their shelter until at least 30 minutes after the last roar of thunder to ensure the storm has left their area.