Great Lakes Water LevelsOctober 26th, 2012 at 3:50 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Surfer at Grand Haven on Thursday. See the picture full screen here (from “Beth” at ReportIt). Earlier this week, the buoy a mile off Holland and the buoy a mile off of Ludington was retrieved for the winter. The mid-Lake Michigan buoy is still out there in the middle of the lake and showing a water temperature of 55 degrees. The Thursday update on Great Lakes water levels from the Army Corps of Engineers shows Lake Michigan (and Lake Huron – they’re connected and at the same level) has gone up an inch in the past week. The lake level is still down 2″ in the last month and down 14″ in the last year. The level is 28″ below the average level, but still 2″ higher than the low level of Oct. 1964. The lake is 69″ (5 feet 9 inches) below the high water level of Oct. 1986. Lake Superior is down 2″ in the past month and down 4″ in the past year. Superior is 16″ below the century average. Lake Erie is down 4″ in the past month and down 19″ year-t0-year. Erie is 10″ below average and 20″ above the low level of Oct. 1934. Lake Ontario dropped 5″ in the last month and 14″ in the past year. Lake Ontario is 19″ above the low water of 1934. Lake’s Erie and Ontario fluctuate more than the other 3 Great Lakes. Lake Erie was significantly above average level this past spring.
Recent rains should help the lake levels. In the last 23 days (up to midnight last night), Grand Rapids has picked up 5.9″ of rain. We’ve had at least a trace of rain on 19 of the last 24 days and measurable rain on 15 of the last 24 days. Through midnight here are some monthly rainfall totals: 6.66″ Muskegon, 7.30″ Holland, 4.60″ Kalamazoo Airport, 4.04″ Lansing, 4.75 Traverse City, 4.73″ S. Ste. Marie, 4.75″ Marquette. Water flow on the Grand River last night when I checked was 3,450 cubic feet per second. That compares to a median of 1,950 cubic feet per second for Oct. 26th. I looked through the 4-page list of data from river gauges, and practically all the rivers in Michigan were above the average flow.