Great Lakes Water Levels

May 3rd, 2013 at 1:37 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

victoria dam falls ontonagon River may 2 2013    Picture taken May 2 of the flooding Ontonagon River in the U.P., courtesy MQT NWS.  They say the flow on the river was up to 15,000 cfs or 20% of the flow over Niagara Falls!  This is due to the rapid snowmelt.  Snow cover on Thu. May 2:  15″ Hoist Basin, 10″ Atlantic Mine and 10 miles south of Grand Marais, 4″ at Ironwood (all new snow in the last 24 hours) and 1″ left at the Marquette Airport and at Mohawk.     Lake Michigan/Huron is up one inch in the past week and up 9″ in the last month.   The lake is down 6″ year-to-year and is still down 24″ from average, but it’s up 6″ above the low level of May 1964.  Despite a dry weather pattern over the weekend into next week, the lake is still expected to add another inch due to above average river flows.   Lake Superior is up 1″ in the past week and 4″ in the past month.  The lake is down 1″ from May 2012 and is still 14″ below the century average.  Lake Superior should also add an inch in the next week.  Lake Erie is up 7″ in the last month and is now 7″ below average level.  Lake Ontario is up 10″ in the last month and is 6″ below average level.   If you add up all the water added to the Great Lakes in the last month, it comes to a staggering 11.8 TRILLION gallons of water added to the Great Lakes.  Wow!

The South Lake Michigan buoy is back in the water, 40 miles west of Holland.  At Midnight, it was showing an air temperature of 39.0, a water temperature of 39.9 and a north wind at 27 mph gusting to 33 mph.  The North Lake Michigan buoy is also back in service and shows a water temperature of 36.9.   Finally, they’re spending 198 million dollars to build a tunnel 200 feet under Lake Erie.     Pics. of the day:  Saunders Island in N. Canada and frozen fjord on Baffin Is.

16 Responses to “Great Lakes Water Levels”

  1. TomKap (Michigan St. & Fuller) Grand Rapids says:

    Part of that 11.8 Trillion gallons is still sitting in a pond next to my house in the empty lot. Can’t believe how long it’s taking to sink into the ground.

    Also can’t believe that it’s 25 in Amarillo Texas right now while it’s 60 here.
    Craziest year of weather I’ve seen in a long time.

  2. whatBillwantstosaybutcant says:

    It’s the new normal TK.

  3. Bill says:

    I’m confused. Bill you noted that the Lake Michigan/Huron is 6 inches above the 1964 low level, and up 9 inches in the past month. Wouldn’t it then be 9 inches above the 2013 all time level and 6 inches above the 2nd lowest level of 1964?

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      The lake averages are for each month and the lake usually goes up in the spring, so the average for May is higher than the average for April, which is higher than the average for March. The level also varied quite a bit in 1964…so the average for each month of 1964 would be different.

  4. big Daddy BC says:

    But climate change was created by the liberals, right?

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Global Warming Alarmism was created by opportunists who saw a chance for big government grants and no accountability (four years and $151 million dollars later and it takes a local reporter (Ken Kolker) to provide some accountability: It started as “global warming”, but when the warming stopped:

      “The five-year mean global temperature has been flat for the last decade…” – James Hansen et al.

      Then the terminology was changed to “climate change”.

      Climate has always changed. There is no such thing as static global temperature. But right now…CO2 emission in the U.S. are falling ( and global temperatures are flat (

      1. big Daddy BC says:

        LOL Yeah, I’m sure scientists are making a LOT more money in grants trying to understand climate change than Exxon is with its $10 billion quarters. Those poor oil and coal barons. Why do those mean scientists keep uncovering data that cuts into those profits?

        1. T Hager says:

          Interesting. I’m a conservative and I do not waste energy. If anything, I may be a bit over the top about saving energy. Why? because saving energy means more money in my pocket.

        2. Bill Steffen says:

          Good for you T – I’m an Eagle Scout and I’ll bet $100 my carbon footprint is smaller than big Daddy’s. I have solar panels on my average, energy-efficient house. I own a Vibe. Conservative’s conserve. Compare us to Al Gore…this is from “The Associated Press reported that its own review of bills indicated that the Gore’s Nashville household used more than 12 times the electricity of an average home in that area (neighborhood)”. When I first heard that, I wondered if he was growing some weed in the basement. But, it’s your typical politician saying “Do as I say and not as I do”. Remember when Congress exempted themselves from Civil Rights laws.

        3. Bill Steffen says:

          You don’t think there’s a lot of grant $$ to grab regarding so called “global warming”. Check this out…for just one guy, Michael Mann:

          Penn State ^ | 12-02-2009 | Michael Mann

          Posted on Wednesday, December 02, 2009 6:34:28 PM by HarleyD


          2009-2013 Quantifying the influence of environmental temperature on transmission of vector-borne diseases, NSF-EF [Principal Investigator: M. Thomas; Co-Investigators: R.G. Crane, M.E. Mann, A. Read, T. Scott (Penn State Univ.)] $1,884,991

          2009-2012 Toward Improved Projections of the Climate Response to Anthropogenic Forcing: Combining Paleoclimate Proxy and Instrumental Observations with an Earth System Model, NSF-ATM [Principal Investigator: M.E. Mann; Co-Investigators: K. Keller (Penn State Univ.), A. Timmermann (Univ. of Hawaii)] $541,184

          2008-2011 A Framework for Probabilistic Projections of Energy-Relevant Streamflow Indices, DOE [Principal Investigator: T. Wagener; Co-Investigators: M. Mann, R. Crane, K. Freeman (Penn State Univ.)] $330,000

          2008-2009 AMS Industry/Government Graduate Fellowship (Anthony Sabbatelli), American Meteorological Society [Principal Investigator: M.E. Mann (Penn State Univ.)] $23,000

          2006-2009 Climate Change Collective Learning and Observatory Network in Ghana, USAID [Principal Investigator: P. Tschakert; Co-Investigators: M.E. Mann, W. Easterling (Penn State Univ.)] $759,928

          2006-2009 Analysis and testing of proxy-based climate reconstructions, NSF-ATM [Principal Investigator: M.E. Mann (Penn State Univ.)] $459,000

          2006-2009 Constraining the Tropical Pacific’s Role in Low-Frequency Climate Change of the Last Millennium, NOAA-Climate Change Data & Detection (CCDD) Program [Principal Investigators: K. Cobb (Georgia Tech Univ.), N. Graham (Hydro. Res. Center), M.E. Mann (Penn State Univ.), Hoerling (NOAA Clim. Dyn. Center), Alexander (NOAA Clim. Dyn. Center)] PSU award (M.E. Mann): $68,065

          2006-2007 Acquisition of high-performance computing cluster for the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC), NSF-EAR [Principal Investigator: M.E. Mann, Co-Investigators: R. Alley, M. Arthur, J. Evans, D. Pollard (Penn State Univ.)] $100,000

          2003-2006 Decadal Variability in the Tropical Indo-Pacific: Integrating Paleo & Coupled Model Results, NOAA-Climate Change Data & Detection (CCDD) Program [Principal Investigators: M.E. Mann (U.Va), J. Cole (U. Arizona), V. Mehta (CRCES)] U.Va award (M.E. Mann): $102,000

          2002-2005 Reconstruction and Analysis of Patterns of Climate Variability Over the Last One to Two Millennia, NOAA-Climate Change Data & Detection (CCDD) Program [Principal Investigator: M.E. Mann, Co-Investigators: S. Rutherford, R.S. Bradley, M.K. Hughes] $315,000

          2002-2005 Remote Observations of Ice Sheet Surface Temperature: Toward Multi-Proxy Reconstruction of Antarctic Climate Variability, NSF-Office of Polar Programs, Antarctic Oceans and Climate System [Principal Investigators: M.E. Mann (U. Va), E. Steig (U. Wash.), D. Weinbrenner (U. Wash)] U.Va award (M.E. Mann): $133,000

          2002-2003 Paleoclimatic Reconstructions of the Arctic Oscillation, NOAA-Cooperative Institute for Arctic Research (CIFAR) Program [Principal Investigators: Rosanne D'Arrigo, Ed Cook (Lamont/Columbia); Co-Investigator: M.E. Mann] U.Va subcontract (M.E. Mann): $14,400

          2002-2003 Global Multidecadal-to-Century-Scale Oscillations During the Last 1000 years, NOAA-Climate Change Data & Detection (CCDD) Program [Principal Investigator: Malcolm Hughes (Univ. of Arizona); Co-Investigators: M.E. Mann; J. Park (Yale University)] U.Va subcontract (M.E. Mann): $20,775

          2001-2003 Resolving the Scale-wise Sensitivities in the Dynamical Coupling Between Climate and the Biosphere, University of Virginia-Fund for Excellence in Science and Technology (FEST) [Principal Investigator: J.D. Albertson; Co-Investigators: H. Epstein, M.E. Mann] U.Va internal award: $214,700

          2001-2002 Advancing predictive models of marine sediment transport, Office of Naval Research [Principal Investigator: P. Wiberg (U.Va), Co-Investigator: M.E. Mann] $20,775

          1999-2002 Multiproxy Climate Reconstruction: Extension in Space and Time, and Model/Data Intercomparison, NOAA-Earth Systems History [Principal Investigator: M.E. Mann (U.Va), Co-Investigators: R.S. Bradley, M.K. Hughes] $381,647

          1998-2000 Validation of Decadal-to-Multi-century climate predictions, DOE [Principal Investigator: R.S. Bradley (U. Mass); Co-Investigators: H.F. Diaz, M.E. Mann]

          1998-2000 The changing seasons? Detecting and understanding climatic change, NSF-Hydrological Science [Principal Investigator U. Lall (U. Utah); Co-investigators: M.E. Mann, B. Rajagopalan, M. Cane] $266,235K

          1996-1999 Patterns of Organized Climatic Variability: Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Globally

          Distributed Climate Proxy Records and Long-term Model Integrations, NSF-Earth Systems History [Principal Investigator: R.S. Bradley (U. Mass); Co-Investigators: M.E. Mann, M.K. Hughes] $270,000

          1996-1998 Investigation of Patterns of Organized Large-Scale Climatic Variability During the Last

          Millennium, DOE, Alexander Hollaender Postdoctoral Fellowship [M.E. Mann] $78,000

          That kind of money would buy a lot of hockey sticks!

        4. big Daddy BC says:

          So that’s the list back to ’96? LOL And Exxon makes $10 billion a quarter and gets more than a billion per year in subsidies. You’re weakening your case. Should have left it a mystery. It totals around $5 million. $5 million over 17 years vs. $697 billion in profits during the same time period . LOL Give us a break. And that’s without anyone fact checking the obvious right-wing source that published the list of those grants.

          If you make this about money, you’ll lose every single time. If you make it about science, you’ll lose every single time. Better stick to religion or gun rights or something. As far as your carbon footprint goes, you have a convection solar heater. It doesn’t produce a single ampere of current. And you may have a small car, but you preach, preach, preach about how evil fuel efficient cars are, how evil alternative energy sources are, how evil politicians that would regulate carbon emissions are, about how wrong all of science is, and how right crusty little Bill Steffen is despite his lack of education, lack of any research experience, and lack of common sense.

        5. Bill Steffen says:

          Exxon has nearly 77,000 employees. It produces a product that gives jobs to millions, and greatly increases our standard of living and even our life span. It’s the 17th largest oil company in the world, but the only one you growl about here on the blog…only because they’re an American company. If you don’t like Exxon, don’t buy there products. You can always by Citgo and support the “descendents” of Chavez. But yet, go live in some place where they don’t have reliable energy. I’ll be life there is hard…and short. I sure hope Mann continues with his lawsuit against National Review. They’ll put him up on the witness stand under oath. I’ll take a vacation day to watch that!!

        6. big Daddy BC says:

          But you’re claiming that climate change was created for 5 million in grants over 17 years, the the world’s scientists all sold out for a chance at that juicy pile of grant money. All I’m doing is giving the comparison, not making a judgement about all the ‘good’ Exxon does for the world (LOL).

          Point is, if you want to compare apples to apples, Exxon’s $697,000,000,000 in profit (yes friends, that’s profit) vs. $5 million in grant money, it’s crystal clear who’s a bit more motivated to manufacture conclusions about climate change. Give us a break and try to stick to the topic.

        7. Bill Steffen says:

          Man-Made Catastrophic Global Warning (as opposed to your renamed-because-it-isn’t-warming “climate change”) is a fading, as objective people see the lack of warming, the inaccurate climate models and the deception (Climategate). The world’s scientists didn’t all “sell out”. Some were misled:

          This is from Dave, the biologist, in the NY Times:

          “I also have to agree with Jim West. My firm ‘belief’ in AGW had already been undermined by some extremely bad papers about mosquitoes, arthropod borne disease, and the effect a warmer Earth on wildlife (I am a biologist). But, I assumed these were just opportunists jumping on the gravy train and that the problem was with the journal review process, not AGW.

          But the Climategate emails made it all too clear that there was no science at all in ALL these famous papers in Nature and other ‘prestige’ journals. Rather, all the sound and fury appeared to be generated by an unscrupulous cabal eager for grant money, fame, and lots of CO2 generating trips to warm and pleasant spots where they could regurgitate their story to a corrupted press and conniving politicians.

          As far as I can tell now, many of the assumptions of AGW appear to be false, nothing that one reads on climate change from Nature to Drudge is reliable.”

          Others believed in global warming catastrophe, but have moved away from that position as new data and fact implied the folly of the alarmism:

  5. GowenJim says:

    And that 11.8 trillion is only 3/4 of our national debt. Now that’s a WOW!

  6. Kimeagle says:

    Re: “…the tunnel under Lake Erie”. This reminds me of a similar project in the Chicago area during the early 90s (called “Deep Tunnel”) that accomplished much of what Clevelan/Cuyahoga now planning. Prior to the Deep Tunnel, ANY storm waters, because of massive volumes, went UNtreated into Lake Michigan, and pollution was a major problem. The machines that dug the tunnels and the underground resevoir there were the same kind as were used in drilling the “Chunnel” under the English Channel: HUGE. Cleveland will undoubtedly benefit from this projest. Thanks for putting this up on your blog, Bill!

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