The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – Parry Sound District is advising residents that a Flood Watch is in effect in the district, which includes Muskoka, Parry Sound and a northwest portion of the County of Haliburton, until April 24.
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 expected to rise in the coming days. Flooding is not expected at this time, but residents may want 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. Lower-lying portions of known flood-prone roads along river courses will likely be impacted to various degrees as lake/river levels increase over the weekend and into next week.
Banks and shorelines adjacent to water bodies are extremely slippery and unstable, so residents and visitors should exercise caution while around water bodies and maintain close supervision of children and pets. The ministry said it is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions and that further updates will be issued as appropriate.
A Colorado low merging with a Texas low is forecast to move in on the evening of April 17 bringing significant precipitation, mostly in the form of rain, across the province with 15 to 25 millimetres forecast along the shores of the upper Great Lakes. The system is expected to slide south on April 18 and drop 15 to 30 millimetres of rain across a large swath of central and south central Ontario. Rainfall is forecast to persist into Friday with 15 to 30 millimetres forecast across a large swath of south central, south and southeastern Ontario. Thunderstorms associated with this event are possible and may produce and additional 5 to 10 millimetres in isolated areas.
Totals across a broad swath of south and central Ontario in the range of 30 to 50 millimetres are forecast over the next three days with higher amounts possible in isolated areas. High winds associated with system range from 30 to 35 kilometres per hour with stronger gusts up to 45 kilometres per hour forecast across the lower Great Lakes.
Daytime high temperatures are forecast in the 5 to 15 C in the area while night-time low temperatures are largely forecast to remain at or above 0 C. Mid-April snow surveys show a continuing snowpack ranging from 100 to 200 millimetres of snow water equivalent in central Ontario. These values are above average to well-above average for this time of year.
Current water levels and flows continue to rise with the warmer weather in the last week. Snow remains throughout the district with snow depths ranging from 22-54 centimetres and snow water content ranging from 87-189 millimetres. Lake and river levels are expected to increase significantly due to runoff from the forecasted precipitation and from expected snow melt over the weekend and into next week.
Residents affected by high water conditions in the past should take necessary action to secure any vulnerable property in close proximity to rivers and lakes and closely monitor developing conditions.
See a flood map for Ontario here.