It's been another above-average month in terms of rainfall and precipitation in the Kenora area.
Environment Canada Meteorologist Peter Kimbell says May's average rainfall in the Kenora area is usually about 80 mm, but we almost doubled that this year with 156 mm.
“The total rainfall at the Kenora Airport for the month of may was 156.5 mm. It was a very wet month, but not a record, however. They recorded 207 mm back in 2007. A lot of rain this month. Double the normal, but shy of the record.”
As of May 28, prior to Sunday and Monday night’s severe thunderstorms, the region had seen about 130 mm of rain, meaning those storms brought another 26 mm or so to the area. That’s continued what’s been an unsettled and stormy month for the area.
“It was very unsettled, not only in May but also in April,” adds Kimbell. “Normally, April only sees about 36 mm of rain and snow combined. This year, we saw a lot more than that – about 120 mm. Way more than average in April and in May. That’s really what has made the difference and what’s responsible for the high water levels across the region.”
Kimbell adds the recent storm activity is expected to continue into June, and he expects June’s rainfall amounts to be above average as well.
“June typically sees a lot more rainfall than April and May. Average rainfall in Kenora for June, 118 mm. Typically, we get a lot of storms and thunderstorms in June. Although, we don’t see any in the forecast at this point.”
The recent rainfall will further exacerbate severe flooding seen across northwestern Ontario this spring. The Lake of the Woods Control Board says levels on Lake of the Woods have surpassed highs seen in 2014, and are just below the all-time record highs set in 1950.
They add since dams in the Kenora area have been fully opened for the majority of the month, no additional actions can be taken to limit the rate of the lake rising and lake levels will all depend on the amount of rainfall we see in the coming weeks.