Lake Michigan/Great Lakes Water LevelsApril 25th, 2013 at 8:23 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, News, Weather
Grand River Flood – helicopter view from WOOD-TV (more helicopter pics. here). Click on the picture to enlarge. The water level of Lake Michigan climbed 3″ in the past week. That’s after going up 3″ in the previous 6 days. So, the water level of Lake Michigan has jumped up 6″ in the last 13 days! That’s a remarkable increase! An inch of water added to Lake Michigan is 390 billion gallons. So, a 6-inch increase means we have added 2.34 TRILLION gallons of water to the lake (and 2.4 trillion gallons to Lake Huron)! With area rivers still at very high levels, we’ll likely add another 2″ to that in the next week. We’ll have very little precipitation in the next 5 days and evaporation rates should be back to average. The past two weeks have also been cloudier than average, with relatively high humidity, cutting down on evaporation. Ice cover hung on until today in Green Bay. So other factors have been favorable for increased lake levels. See the thread below on the satellite pictures where you can actually see the muddy water of the Grand River extending at least 5 miles out into the lake and moving down the shore past Holland with the prevailing NW wind today. Lake Michigan is up 8″ in the last month, but is still down 7″ year-to-year. It’s 21″ below the century average for April, but now 9″ above the lowest April level back in 1964. Question…if the lake levels go up significantly, will we be able to do less dredging?
Lake Superior is up 1″ in the past week and up 3″ in the past month. Superior is still down 2 inches in the last year and is now 11″ below the century average. Much of the snow around Lake Superior hasn’t melted yet (snow cover Thurs. evening: 38″ Hoist Basin and Atlantic Mine, 29″ 1.6 miles ESE of Houghton, 28″ Marquette Airport, 17″ Munising, 11″ Ironwood…in NW Wisconsin: 18″ Bayfield, 21″ at Upson (home of the famous horserace track, Upson Downs)…in Minnesota: 19″ Duluth, 14″ International Falls, 26″ Finland, 25″ Island Lake…with deep snow north of Lake Superior in Canada: 37″ Hearst, 20″ Atikoken, 18″ White River and Geraldton) and Superior is likely to add 2-3″ just from snowmelt in the next 2-3 weeks. Lake Erie is up 6″ in the last month, but remains 6″ below the century average. Lake Ontario is up a whopping 9″ in the last month and is now only 2″ below the century average. Lakes Erie and Ontario should go up in the next few weeks with average rainfall and more inflow from the 3 Great Lakes upstream.
Great Lakes News: Asian carp DNA in the Great Lakes…Forum on the water level of Lakes Huron & Michigan (“Among the suggestions why levels are dropping are the widening and deepening of the St. Clair River where it flows out of Lake Huron, more water-taking on both sides of the border and climate change.” – note what’s #1 on the list), and an eco-friendly new road in Whitehall.