Great Lakes Water LevelsOctober 13th, 2012 at 12:37 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Picture from Robbi Boeve. The Great Lakes water levels have dropped significantly this year, due to low precipitation and high evaporation. Hopefully, with the soaking this weekend and a little wetter pattern, the levels will start to rebound. The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron is down 7″ in the last month (about as big a drop in a month as we have seen) and we are now 14″ below the level of one year ago. Lake Michigan is now 29″ below the 100-year average. Lake Superior is down 4″ in the last month and is now 3″ below the level of one year ago. Superior is 15″ below the long-term average for October. Lake Erie, the shallowest of the Great Lakes, has dropped 8″ in the last month and is now 19″ below the level of one year ago. Lake Ontario is down 7″ in the last month and 12″ in the last year. Both Erie and Ontario are 10″ below the long-term October average. Erie and Ontario fluctuate much more in the short term than the other three Great Lakes. Last Christmas, Lake Erie was 18″ ABOVE the century average. Here’s the current Drought Monitor for Michigan. We’re dry, but not as dry as we were last July and the rain’s this weekend will wipe out a significant part of that yellow. Also, Envisat shows sea level has dropped ever so slightly since 2008 after having risen slightly from 2000 to 2008. Tropical Storm Rafael has formed in the Caribbean. It’ll produce gusty winds and heavy rain as it moves up toward Puerto Rico and then toward Bermuda. You can follow the storm on San Juan radar. There were more waterspouts off the S. California coast on Friday (second link) 48-hr. rainfall: 0.29 San Diego, 1.84″ Las Vegas, 3.31″ Kyle Canyon, 3.54″ Grove OK. Thunderstorms produced hail and high winds in New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle (baseball-sized hail and 70 mph winds). That’s the storm that’s coming our way for the weekend.