2022 continues to be a record-breaking year for the watershed.
According to the Lake of the Woods Control Board (LWCB), April and May 2022 have been the wettest on record. 272 mm of precipitation fell in April and May, well above the 120-year median of 122 mm.
The later snowmelt and higher levels of precipitation in 2022 have led to unprecedented flooding across the region.
"This is a full regional flooding event that is without precedent on record, and beyond the capacity of any dams in the system to manage. Many water level gauges across the region have reported new records for lake and river water levels and river flows," stated the LWCB in their Wednesday update.
Total inflow from April 1-May 31 set a new record for all of the major lakes in the Winnipeg River drainage basin including Namakan Lake, Rainy Lake, Lake of the Woods and Lac Seul.
Inflow into Lake of the Woods peaked at 1978 m³/s, well above the long-term median of 727 m³/s.
"The inflows to these lakes have been much higher in 2022 due to the later snowmelt in April and continued above-normal precipitation almost every week for the past two months."
In the last week, Lake of the Woods has risen 10 cm (4 in) to 323.89 m (1062.6 ft), over 95th percentile level for this time of year, and is expected to rise by approximately 9-12 cm (4-5 in) over the next 7 days, the rate depending on the rainfall received across the region.
The LWCB says, "With drier weather the rate of rise should slow, but timing of the peak will depend on rainfall this month. Record lake levels are possible and will depend on rainfall across the watershed in the next couple of weeks."
The record level for Lake of the Woods is 324.31 m (1064.0 ft), set in July of 1950.
With the lake continuing to rise, so will the outflow into the Winnipeg River. As a result, the Winnipeg River is expected to rise another 2-4 cm (1-2 in) over the next seven days.