Lake Manitoba update: Oct. 29, 2017

Strong northwest winds are pushing water south and east on the lakes this morning. The mean level of Lake Manitoba is right at the top end of the operating range of 812.50 feet. The lake is remaining stubbornly high with high water levels upstream on Lake Winnipegosis keeping Waterhen River flows high which in turn keeps Lake Manitoba high. The long-range outlook for the lake will be conditional on what the province does with the Fairford Water Control Structure over winter. If it is left wide open, the lake should fall reducing the risk of flooding next spring. If Fairford flows are reduced to prevent frazil ice formation on the Dauphin River, as is customary, the lake will remain high and near the top end of the operating range over winter. The average rise of the lake during the spring freshet is 6” to 18” and the top end of the operating range is just 18” below the flood level of 814.0 feet. This leaves little margin for error. Damage to property along the lake rises sharply at lake levels over 813.0 feet. If the lake remains at the top end of the operating range at the end of winter, we are likely to see lake levels over 813.0 feet next spring and summer.

Fairford flows are affected by the winds and are currently 7,769 cfs. Waterhen flows are also affected by the wind and roughly the same at 7,769 cfs. The current northwest winds drive Waterhen flows up and Fairford flows down. Lake Winnipegosis remains high, though the exact level is unclear also being affected by the strong winds: the current gauge reading is 833.01 feet. That level is 2.6 feet higher than the average level for this time of year of 830.4 feet. The level of Lake St. Martin is currently 801.67 feet. Flow on the Whitemud River is down to 60 cfs. Flow on the Assiniboine is 929 cfs at Holland and 1148 cfs at Headingly.

River update
Time: 11:00 AM October 29, 2017
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 929 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: 1,148 cfs
Waterhen: 7,734 cfs
Whitemud: 60 cfs
Fairford: 7,769 cfs

Lake update
Time: 11:00 AM October 29, 2017
Steep Rock: 812.34 ft
Westbourne: 812.66 ft
Mean level Lake Manitoba: 812.50 ft
Lake Manitoba desired operating range: 810.5 to 812.5 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.67
Lake St. Martin desired operating range: 797.0 to 800.0 ft
Lake Winnipegosis: 833.01 ft
Shellmouth Reservoir: 1399.77 ft

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Lake Manitoba update: Oct. 23, 2017

Shifting winds have water sloshing around in Lake Manitoba and I am not confident in the current lake level estimate, but here it is: 812.58 feet. I am reasonably confident that the lake is near the top end of its operating range (812.5 feet) but am unsure if it is above or below that level. Fairford flows are down to 8,122 cfs, and flows are up on the Waterhen 7,911 cfs – i.e, they are roughly in balance at the moment. The estimate of the level of Lake Winnipegosis is up this week to 833.17 feet but is this is also wind affected. The level of Lake St. Martin is sitting at 801.87 feet, another wind affected level. Flow on the Whitemud River is up to 148 cfs. Flow on the Assiniboine is currently 911 cfs at Holland and 1,024 cfs at Headingly.

River update
Time: 9:00 AM October 23, 2017
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 911 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: 1,024 cfs
Waterhen: 7,911 cfs
Whitemud: 148 cfsFairford: 8,122 cfs
 
Lake update
Time: 9:00 AM October 23, 2017
Steep Rock: 812.34 ft
Westbourne: 812.83 ft
Mean level Lake Manitoba: 812.58 ft
Lake Manitoba desired operating range: 810.5 to 812.5 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.87
Lake St. Martin desired operating range: 797.0 to 800.0 ft
Lake Winnipegosis: 833.17 ft
Shellmouth Reservoir: 1399.90 ft

Gale wind warning issued for Lake Manitoba. 

Environment Canada has issued a severe wind warning for much of Westman, and has issued a Gale warning for Lake Manitoba. 

Wind light becoming south 20 kph  early this morning then increasing to southwest 40 kph early this evening. Wind increasing to southwest 55 kph  overnight and to west 65 kph Wednesday morning. Wind diminishing to west 55 kph Wednesday afternoon.

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Lake Manitoba update: Oct. 16, 2017

Lake Manitoba appears to be down from last week with current estimate of the level of Lake Manitoba is 812.43 feet. If that is true, then the lake is back inside its operating range. There are some odd gauge readings, however, that are not matching up with the prevailing winds. The level at Steep Rock is currently falling, but winds are from the southwest, so the Steep Rock gauge should be rising. Thus the estimate of lake level should be viewed with some suspicion. Fairford flows are down to 8,582 cfs, as are flows on the Waterhen (7,487 cfs). The estimate of the level of Lake Winnipegosis is down this week to 832.45 feet. The level of Lake St. Martin is almost unchanged this week at 801.74 feet. The Whitemud River is now running at 109 cfs. Flow on the Assiniboine is 833 cfs at Holland; the gauge at Headingly is currently offline.

River update
Time: 4:30 PM October 16, 2017
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 833 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: gauge offline
Waterhen: 7,487 cfs
Whitemud: 109 cfs
Fairford: 8,582 cfs
 
Lake update
Time: 4:30 PM October 16, 2017
Steep Rock: 812.47 ft
Westbourne: 812.40 ft
Mean level Lake Manitoba: 812.43 ft
Lake Manitoba desired operating range: 810.5 to 812.5 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.74
Lake St. Martin desired operating range: 797.0 to 800.0 ft
Lake Winnipegosis: 832.45 ft
Shellmouth Reservoir: 1400.26 ft

Lake Manitoba update: Oct. 8, 2017

Strong winds continue to make estimating lake levels difficult. The current estimate of the level of Lake Manitoba is 812.56 feet. Strong west winds are pushing water eastward and outflow at Fairford has risen sharply as a result, being 10,065 cfs this afternoon. Flow through Fairford was restored this week after MI temporarily reduced flows last week. Inflow to Lake Manitoba from the Waterhen River is high at 8,122 cfs. This is more than double the long-term average flow for the Waterhen River for this date. Waterhen flows remain high because Lake Winnipegosis remains high, currently sitting at 833.33 feet, about 3 feet above its average level for this time of year. The level of Lake St. Martin is down slightly this week to 801.80 feet. The Whitemud River is now running at 85 cfs. Flow on the Assiniboine is 826 cfs at Holland and 1,052 cfs at Headingly.

River update
Time: 6:00 PM October 8, 2017
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 826 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: 1,052 cfs
Waterhen: 8,122 cfs
Whitemud: 85 cfs
Fairford: 10,065 cfs
 
Lake update
Time: 6:00 PM October 8, 2017
Steep Rock: 812.80 ft
Westbourne: 812.34 ft
Mean level Lake Manitoba: 812.56 ft
Lake Manitoba desired operating range: 810.5 to 812.5 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.80
Lake St. Martin desired operating range: 797.0 to 800.0 ft
Lake Winnipegosis: 833.33 ft
Shellmouth Reservoir: 1400.84 ft

Lake Manitoba update: Oct. 1, 2017

Strong winds have been buffeting the lakes making estimates of levels subject to error. The current estimate of the level of Lake Manitoba is 812.59 feet, down from last week. Outflow at Fairford is 7,557 cfs this while inflow from the Waterhen is 7,593 cfs. MI lowered outflow at Fairford this week to take instrument readings and to inspect the water control structure. They appear to be in the process of raising them back to normal (and maximal) levels now, after dropping flows markedly midweek. Lake Winnipegosis is down this week to 832.68 feet. With the reduced outflows at Fairford, the level of Lake St. Martin has dropped markedly to 801.87 feet. The Whitemud River is now running at 102 cfs. Flow on the Assiniboine is 855 cfs at Holland and 1,218 cfs at Headingly.

River update
Time: 9:00 AM October 1, 2017
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 855 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: 1,218 cfs
Waterhen: 7,593 cfs
Whitemud: 102 cfs
Fairford: 7,557 cfs
 
Lake update
Time: 9:00 AM October 1, 2017
Steep Rock: 812.78 ft
Westbourne: 812.40 ft
Mean level Lake Manitoba: 812.59 ft
Lake Manitoba desired operating range: 810.5 to 812.5 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.87
Lake St. Martin desired operating range: 797.0 to 800.0 ft
Lake Winnipegosis: 832.68 ft
Shellmouth Reservoir: 1401.12 ft