Potential for flooding as runoff expected to rise: Flood Watch in effect for our region

Flood Watch does not mean flooding an immediate threat, but potential is there water levels rise

Posted April 11, 11:15am: The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) for the Parry Sound-Muskoka District is advising area residents that a Flood Watch is now in effect. The advisory issued just now updates the notice sent out on April 9 that advised of a Flood Outlook.

Feature picture (left) by Norah Fountain: Watching the ice melt at Gull Lake Park in Gravenhurst

What’s the difference between a Flood Outlook and Flood Watch? Minor differences in water conditions terminology can mean a great deal for residents living in areas that are prone to flooding.

  • A Water Conditions Statement can be either a Water Safety or a Flood Outlook message that warns of high water along rivers and lakes. A Water Conditions Statement-Flood Outlook gives early notice of the potential for flooding.
  • A Flood Watch means potential for flooding exists within certain watercourses and municipalities.
  • A Flood Warning means flooding is imminent or occurring. This is NOT the case today, April 11, for our region. Today’s advisory is a Flood Watch, not a Warning.

Residents along rivers and lakes within the Parry Sound-Muskoka area are advised to keep a close watch on conditions, regularly check for updated messages and exercise caution around waterbodies as river flows and water levels continue to rise in the coming days.

A significant potential exists for flooding due to current conditions and forecasted rainfall. Residents may wish to take any further action necessary to secure or protect property in flood-prone or vulnerable areas. Local lakes are still ice covered which has the potential to impact shoreline infrastructure such as docks and boathouses as water levels rise and with prevailing winds.

The MNR is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions and will issue further updates as deemed appropriate.

Current forecast calling for rain starting Saturday

The current forecast is calling for up to 45mm or more precipitation Saturday April 12th through Monday April 14th. The forecast through to next Monday is for daytime high temperatures in the range of 6-13 degrees Celsius with near freezing nighttime temperatures.

Current Conditions: The water content within the existing snow pack throughout local watersheds continues to be significantly greater than the normal or historical average for early April. Forecasted temperatures and rainfall will accelerate the melt of the snow pack but flooding is not expected at this time. It is expected that the melting of the snow pack in addition to rainfall will significantly increase the amount of runoff into local waterbodies.

The rate of rise in water levels and flows is expected to increase through the weekend and into next week given current conditions.

Expiry Date: The MNR advises this latest message will expire Monday April 14, 2014 at noon.

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Rain expected this week; MNR issues watershed advisory

MNR issues Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook advisory.

April 9, 3pm: Today the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) for Parry Sound-Muskoka issued a flood outlook advisory to ensure residents are aware of how changing weather conditions can affect regional water flows and levels.

It reads:

Residents within the Parry Sound-Muskoka area should keep a close watch on conditions, regularly check for updated messages and exercise caution around water bodies as flows and levels within rivers and streams continue to increase in the coming days. Although flooding is not expected at this time, residents may wish to consider taking action to secure or protect any property in flood-prone or vulnerable areas.

The MNR is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions. Further updates will be issued as appropriate.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION

Description of Weather System

The weather forecast for the remainder of this week is for daytime high temperatures in the range of 1-13 degrees Celsius with near to below-freezing nighttime temperatures. The current forecast is calling for up to 35mm of precipitation this week through Sunday April 13th.

Description of Current Conditions

The water content within the existing snow pack throughout local watersheds is approximately 60% above normal or historical average for early April. Forecasted temperatures and rainfall will continue to melt the substantial snow pack but flooding is not expected at this time. It is expected that the intact snow pack will retain much of the forecasted rainfall which will minimize the amount of snow melt and runoff into local waterbodies.

Seasonal daytime/nighttime air temperatures for the remainder of this week will allow the snow pack to continue melting at a moderate rate therefore reducing the potential or likelihood for significant flooding within local rivers and lakes. The rate of rise in water levels and flows is expected to increase by this weekend and into next week given current conditions.

Expiry Date: This message will expire Monday April 14, 2014; 5:00 pm