Lake Michigan Water LevelsNovember 15th, 2012 at 8:20 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, News, Weather
Picture shows low water level at Northport in Leelanau County, Michigan (USGS pic.). The water level of Lake Michigan has fallen 2 inches in the last month and the lake is 15″ lower than it was one year ago. Lake Michigan/Huron (they behave as one big lake for water level purposes, joined at the Mackinac Bridge) is 28″ below the average water level and now one inch above the lowest level of the last 50 years back in 1964. Lake Superior is up one inch in the last month and 2″ below the level of one year ago. Superior is 13″ below the century average. Lake Erie is up 2″ in the last month, but down 13″ year-to-year. Lake Erie is 6″ below the century average. Lake Ontario is down 1″ in the last month and down 11″ in the last year. Ontario is 9″ below the long-term November average. According to this article, the low levels are “not out of the ordinary”. I wouldn’t go that far. It is unusual, but not unprecedented to see a water level this low on Lake Michigan. Grand Rapids has had 30.84″ of precipitation this year. That’s 91% of average, so not all that far off normal. Last year we actually had above normal precipitation in Grand Rapids (41.39″). Many people feel that dredging in the St. Clair River has contributed to the low lake levels. The low lake levels also affect lakes that connect to Lake Michigan (Macatawa, Spring, Muskegon, White). The Grand River in Grand Rapids is running at 85.3% of median flow right now. You can check Michigan river levels here. The some, the solution to the low water level of Lake Michigan is taxing kayaks!