Great Lakes Water Levels

December 22nd, 2012 at 2:50 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

    Pretty cool picture here from Drake Olmstead who was at Lake Michigan Friday AM.  The wind was gusting to 60 mph at the time.   Lake Michigan has now reached the lowest level ever reached in the month of December in the last 50+ years.  The lake is now one inch lower than the previous record December low set in 1964.  The lake is down 3″ in the last month and down 17″ in the last year.   I remain a little perplexed by the size of the drop.  Grand Rapids has had 33.48″ of precipitation this year, or 89% of average.  Last year we had 45.09″ of precipitation or 118% of average.  If you add the two years, you get 103.5% of average over the 2-year period.  I didn’t look at other cities, but I don’t think you’d find significantly lower precipitation amounts.  The level of Lake Michigan – Huron is dependent on what comes down from Lake Superior…but while Lake Michigan is down 17″ year-to-year, Lake Superior is at the same level as last year.  Lake Michigan is 17″ below chart datum.  Lake Erie is 12″ above chart datum and Lake Ontario is 5 inches above chart datum.   BTW, the latest level reading was from early Thurs. and did not take into account the significant rain we had (2.16″ in Milwaukee, 2.30″ in Hart).  it’s estimated that average precipitation over Lake Michigan was close to an inch.

8 Responses to “Great Lakes Water Levels”

  1. Ned S. (Now in South Holland) says:

    I would think with this last storm that next month’s water levels would be up a bit.

  2. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    Maybe someone pulled the drain plug.

    1. Ned S. (Now in South Holland) says:

      There’s a leak somewhere.

  3. Jim S (North of Parchment) says:

    Remember the dredging going on in Lake St. Clair? Lots of hits if you Google it.

  4. Steve B says:

    I am blaming it on semi-automatic guns.

  5. GunLakeDeb says:

    Well, the rivers that feed Lake Michigan sure came up after the recent rain – that HAS to help a teeny bit?

  6. Keith Hull says:

    A lot of water is taken from the lake for drinking water and other industrial uses. Has that changed recently or anything new with the channel/lock system down near Chicago?

  7. winston says:

    WhiteLake is soo low. You go between Montague and Whitehall, you can see the ground out in Whitelake.. I have lived here all my life and never have seen the ground out there. I’ve seen ponds around that the water is up in. Where is the water going? It’s going to big time hurt our community. No larger boats are going to able to come here next summer if the water doesn’t come back…

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