Most northwestern Ontario thunderstorm watches lifted

Severe thunderstorm warnings for some parts of northwestern Ontario have been lifted, but more rain is expected in the coming days.

Environment Canada had issued the advisories Tuesday morning for areas including Kenora, Dryden, Ignace, Vermillion Bay, Sioux Narrows, Nestor Falls and Grassy Narrows.

However, later Tuesday, most of the warnings were lifted, with the only remaining severe thunderstorm warning affecting the Sioux Lookout area, where strong winds, heavy rain, and hail were possible.

However, Environment Canada warning preparedness meteorologist Geoff Coulson said earlier Tuesday there is more wet weather in the forecast for the western parts of the region.

“Looking forward to the rest of this week, still a chance of some isolated showers for Wednesday and Thursday in that area … from Fort Frances westwards to Lake of the Woods, and then northwards into Dryden and Red Lake,” Coulson said. “We’re not expecting any watches and warnings with that activity on Wednesday and Thursday.”

“Then a bit of a break, it looks like, from the end of the week into Saturday.”

Thunderstorms are possible beginning late Saturday, and lasting to Monday, Coulson said.

Lake levels still rising

Coulson’s statement came a day after the Lake of the Woods Control Board issued an update on the lake’s water levels, which are contributing to flooding in the area.

In the update, the board stated the average lake level rose six centimeters over the last week, and is expected to rise another five to eight centimeters in the next seven days, depending on rainfall.

The board currently predicts water levels will peak at the end of June, but warns that prediction is dependent on weather.

If the water levels do peak at the end of June, it will still likely take “many weeks” before water levels return to normal for this time of year.

The control board said Lake of the Woods has surpassed the 2014 peak, but remains below the record set in July of 1950.

All dams in Kenora are fully open, and no further action can be taken to slow the rise of the lake’s water levels, the board stated.

Special weather statements remain in effect for Atikokan, Dryden, Ignace, Fort Frances, Rainy Lake, Kenora, and Nestor Falls, with Environment Canada warning of daytime highs near 30 C, or 36 with the humidex.

May tornado confirmed

Meanwhile, Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project has confirmed a tornado did touch down in northwestern Ontario last month.

The track followed by a tornado that touched down north of Fort Frances on May 30. Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project confirmed the touchdown through use of satellite imagery. (Northern Tornadoes Project)

Environment Canada had issued a number of tornado watches on May 30.

Using satellite imagery, the project was able to confirm a tornado did touch down north of Fort Frances, in the Boffin Lake area, at about 7:50 pm that day.

The tornado was rated an EF2, with maximum wind likes of about 190 km/h, and caused damage in a forested area.

The project is currently reviewing further satellite imagery to determine if any other tornadoes touched down in the region that day.

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