The Lake of the Woods Control Board is forecasting the level of the Lake of the Woods is expected to rise by 22 to 30 cm (9-12 in) over the next week, which could exceed levels seen in 2014.
A May 11 report, states that the current forecast for the lake level is approaching the 2014 peak of 323.78 m (1062.2 ft). They say that with the expected rise over the next week, LOTW may exceed the 2014 peak water level in May if the wet weather conditions continue.
The current level of Lake of the Woods is 323.40 m (1061.1 ft), which is over the 95th percentile level for this time of the year. The average lake level rose by 25 cm (10 in) over the past week.
The inflow to Lake of the Woods is more than double the maximum outflow that is being released through the fully opened dams in Kenora.
The LWCB is not able to forecast the level rise beyond the range of reliable precipitation forecasts (5-7 days). If the weather in the near term is much drier than the forecast, the 2014 peak may not be reached.
Water levels on the Winnipeg River are expected to rise with the level of LOTW, as the lake provides the pressure to push water through the outlet of the lake in Kenora. The water level on the Winnipeg river could rise by 30 cm (1 ft) near Kenora and Minaki if 2014 peak levels are reached on the LOTW.
The snow-filled winter and wet spring have been the cause of all this extra moisture. Across the winter the area received 305.8 cm of snow, which broke a 61-year-old snowfall record. Adding to the record winter has been a lot of rain since the middle of April and now 13 days into May. In that span, 118 mm of rain has fallen, which hasn’t been needed in the region.
The current level of Lac Seul is 355.53 m (1166.4 ft), a 75th percentile level for this time of year. Inflow to Lac Seul is extremely high, leading to the level of the lake rising by 45 cm (1.5 ft) over the past 7 days. The lake is expected to rise by 55-60 cm (2 ft) over the next 7 days.
Lac Seul outflow is scheduled to be increased from 300 to 400 m³/s on Thursday, May 12. Further increases are being planned for the coming week.
Ontario Power Generation has scheduled a reduction to minimum flow in the Root River Diversion from Lake St. Joseph into Lac Seul for next week. More details will be provided at a later date.