The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Parry Sound District is advising area residents that a Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety is in effect for the District which includes the District Municipality of Muskoka, the Territorial District of Parry Sound and a north-west portion of the County of Haliburton.
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 are anticipated to rise in the coming days. Although flooding is not expected at this time, residents may wish to consider taking action to ensure their sump pumps are working properly and to secure or protect any property in flood-prone or vulnerable areas.
It is expected that lower-lying portions of known flood-prone roads along river courses will be impacted to various degrees as river levels start to increase over the next week.
With cooler temperatures, banks and shorelines adjacent to water bodies are extremely slippery and unstable. Residents and visitors should exercise caution while around water bodies and maintain close supervision of children and pets.
MNRF also advises extreme caution when using forest access roads for outdoor activities as many are seasonally inundated with water, prone to washouts and may be impassible due to current water levels.
MNRF is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions. Further updates will be issued as appropriate.
An approaching Colorado Low weather system is expected to pass through Northeastern Ontario over the next three days, bringing warm air into southern, southcentral, and the southern portions of the northeast region on Thursday and Friday.
This warm air mass will bring significant moisture mainly to the central portions of northeastern Ontario including Wawa, Chapleau and Timmins Districts, with 25 – 40 mm of mixed precipitation consisting of snow, freezing rain, ice pellets on Thursday and Friday. The southern portions of northeastern region are expected to receive 15 –25 mm, with the phase of the precipitation more on the rain side, rather than snow or ice pellets over the same period.
Southern Ontario is expected to receive 5 -10 mm of precipitation over the next few days, with temperatures reaching +10 deg C as far north as the French River and North Bay on Friday and staying above freezing overnight Thursday, before dropping back down to more seasonal temperatures Friday night and into the weekend.
Description of Current Conditions
Currently water levels on water bodies with control structure are generally low due to drawdown efforts prior to the spring melt. Flows are normal for this time of year, but are anticipated to rise due to warm temperatures, rain and rapid snow melt. Current snow conditions in the Muskoka and Parry Sound region have average of 30-60cm of snow depth containing 120-200mm of snow water equivalent, which is above the typical average for this time of year.
Snowmelt and runoff due to forecasted warm temperatures and precipitation will result in flows and levels rising depending on local conditions. Combined runoff from the rainfall and snowmelt might result in high water levels and localised flooding in low lying areas. Residents should be cautions as ice conditions on lakes and rivers may change rapidly as a result of rising flows and water levels.