Mother Nature did what she could to help northwestern Ontario out last month with the area’s severe flooding situation, sending us roughly half of the rain that we typically see in the average June.
Environment Canada Meteorologist, Gerald Cheng, says the Kenora Airport recorded 60.8 mm of rain last month, which is about 51 per cent of the average amount of 118.7 mm of precipitation we would usually see.
“When we talk about this spring, it was just system after system for northwestern Ontario. That’s why there was so much rain,” explains Cheng.
Cheng notes this year was an unusually wet spring for northwestern Ontario. Environment Canada says the region saw 156 mm of rainfall this May, almost double the average of about 80 mm.
“But in the summer months, it’s more about isolated precipitation and thunderstorms. You can get a lot of rain all at once, or you can get nothing. That’s really what happened in June. But we still need to watch the weather for July,” he adds.
The rain and some heavy snowfalls over the winter have coupled to cause an unprecedented flooding situation throughout northwestern Ontario, with multiple municipalities declaring state of emergencies, roads and highways washing away and families losing their homes and possessions.
The Lake of the Woods Control Board says Lake of the Woods is at its highest level since 1950 and would have to drop almost 2.5 feet to return to normal operating levels.
This year’s been a whirlwind for water levels compared to 2021, when the LWCB says the region saw the driest year on record since 1961 with about half of the average amount of annual precipitation. This, as well as a dry end to 2020, led to extremely low water levels last summer.