Ministry of Natural Resources
Watershed Conditions Statement - Water Safety
Parry Sound District/ Muskoka River Watershed
NEWS Monday, March 20, 2017
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 in the County of Haliburton.
A Flood Outlook remains in effect for the Muskoka River Watershed west of Lake of Bays including
the South Branch of the Muskoka River and the Moon River/Bala Reach.
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 remain high. 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.
It is expected that lower-lying portions of known flood-prone roads along river courses will be impacted to various degrees as river levels remain high over the next few days.
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.
Travelling on the newly formed ice should be avoided. 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.
Description of Weather System
The current weather forecast calls for daytime highs over the next seven days of -6°C to 6°C and overnight lows being seasonal, ranging from -17°C to 3°C. At this time, there is mixed precipitation forecasted for this week, with the potential for approximately 15mm of rain to be expected on Friday.
Description of Current Conditions
Current water levels and flows are higher than normal for this time of year, due to previous precipitation accumulation, warm temperatures and rapid snow melt. Several weeks of snowy weather, followed by warm daytime highs and heavy precipitation has the area blanketed with an average of 41cm of snow depth containing 144mm of snow water content.
The current weather forecast calls for daytime highs over the next week to be above zero, and night time lows being about seasonal. Friday precipitation is currently forecasted at approximately 15mm, depending on the weather service. Predicted accumulations will cause current levels and flows to rise late this week and over the weekend.
Continued snowmelt and runoff due to forecasted warm temperatures later in the week may result in sustained high flows and levels depending on current stream conditions. Cold overnight temperatures will help to reduce river flows in the river systems.
Additionally, slippery and unstable banks and extremely cold water temperatures can lead to very hazardous conditions around any water body.
This message will expire on Monday, March 27 2017, 12:00 PM
Terminology: Notification Levels
WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – WATER SAFETY: indicates that high flows, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for such users as boaters, anglers and swimmers but flooding is not expected.
WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT - FLOOD OUTLOOK: gives early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions
FLOOD WATCH: potential for flooding exists within specific watercourses and municipalities
FLOOD WARNING: flooding is imminent or occurring within specific watercourses and municipalities.
For more information please contact:
Parry Sound District MNRF Water Management Department
A close watch on local conditions and weather forecasts from Environment Canada is recommended. Environment Canada bulletins can be found at http://weather.gc.ca/The Surface Water Monitoring Centre public webpage can be found here: http://www.ontario.ca/flooding