The first weekend of May is going to start how the last weekend of April ended, as Environment Canada is forecasting more rain to hit northwestern Ontario starting Saturday night (May 7, 2022).

Environment Canada is tracking what they believe is not one, but two Colorado Lows to sweep through the region bringing with it anywhere from 25-50 mm of rain combined between the two systems.

“Beginning last overnight Saturday into early Sunday morning bringing rain to the area,” says Environment Canada Meteorologist, Steven Flisfeder. “It’s going to continue through most of the day on Sunday before finally breaking off probably late afternoon, early evening before that rain from that first Colorado Low starts to push out further north and east.”

An estimate of 10-15 mm is expected to fall with the first system. Following the departure of the first storm system, residents won’t get much relief before the next Colorado Low makes its way for the region.

“On its heels, though there is a second Colorado Low that’s due to hit the area starting Monday morning. This one is a little bit less confidence in terms of timing and exact locations, but it should bring some more rain to the area through Monday,” adds Flisfeder.

Flisfeder says that the less confident second system could bring rainfall amounts of anywhere from 15-25 mm.

The last thing the region needs is more moisture, as the snow-filled winter, and already wet spring has caused flooding concerns midway through spring. The water level on Lake of the Woods has risen roughly 25” since April 20, 2022, while the Winnipeg River has risen by about 67” since early April. The Lake of the Woods Control Board is expected to open the Norman Dam fully by Saturday (May 7, 2022).

High water levels in the region have caused a number of roads in the area to be washed out, or have constant water flowing over roadways. 

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, in response to the continuous rising levels, issued a Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook , that will be in effect until May 13, 2022. The outlook was issued for the areas of Kenora, Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls, Dryden, Oxdrift, and surrounding communities. Their statement aims to give early notice of the potential for flooding throughout the region.

In April, 67.8 mm of rain fell at the Kenora Airport, which broke a 62-year-old rainfall record for the month. Almost half of that monthly amount came in the last weekend of the month, as 30.8 mm of rain fell. It was also the snowiest winter since 1961, as the region saw a whopping 305.8 cm of snowfall.

Flisfeder recommends residents take in as much sunshine as they can before the rain begins Saturday evening, as temperatures are expected to drop slightly.

“Temperatures for Saturday should be in the high teens as well, but you do have that threat of rain, especially later in the day. Maybe, best to get your outdoor activities done earlier in the day. Temperatures through the rest of the weekend are not going to be terrible. Temperatures should be around the 10-13 degrees Celsius range for Sunday, and Monday.”

The sunshine will reappear in the middle of next week, as Flisfeder is predicting temperatures to be in the mid-teens and even pushing into the low 20-degree range.