Lake Levels Update

June 20th, 2013 at 5:52 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Lake Michigan Jack Martin Ludington North Pier Lighthouse   This is the Ludington North Pier Lighthouse – picture from Jack Martin.   The Great Lakes continue to gain water.  This is one of the biggest spring increases in the volume of water in the Great Lakes since records began over 100 years ago.  Lake Michigan/Huron (at the same water level – connected at the Strait of Mackinac) rose another 2″ in the last two weeks.  The level is up 5″ in the last month and is now only one inch below the level of one year ago (we’ll bounce into the plus column here soon).  The level is now 12″ above the lowest June level of 1964, but still 19″ below the long-term average.  Lake Superior added one inch in the last two weeks.  Superior has gained 4″ in the last month and is at the same level as one year ago.  It’s 7″ below the century average.  Lake Erie is up  3″ in just the last 2 weeks, and 7″ in the last month.  Erie is now 2″ above the level of one year ago and only 3″ below the long-term average.  Lake Ontario did even better, up 6″ in just the last 2 weeks and 11″ in the last month.  Lake Ontario is now 10″ above the level of one year ago and 4″ ABOVE the long-term average.  South Lake Michigan (south of Manistee) water temperatures are between 55 and 60.

Saturday is Beach Survival Challenge at Grand Haven State Park.  Here’s the Beach Survival facebook page.  I’ll be there by 10 AM and I’ll stay thru the Noon Hour.  Even if you’re not signed up for the event, stop on by to see the the competition and say “hi”.  Here’s some water safety rules.

8 Responses to “Lake Levels Update”

  1. TreasureHunter says:

    First! This is great news. As long as we get steady rainfall and not too much, this could be a great year for Michigan and the Great Lakes. Keep up the good work and reporting!

    1. fixxxer says:

      I think we have had enough rain. Keep the heat & sun coming!

  2. Judy says:

    If you listened to the network news the other night (NBC I believe), they had a story about how the lake levels are at record lows, so that shipping has been hampered (they can’t put as much coal into the freighters). What I noticed was that the ship/captain that they were talking to was in a harbor. Granted, perhaps the harbor has gotten shallower due to sediment deposits from whatever river runs into it or perhaps due to the way that sand is being deposited from wave action, but clearly our lake levels are NOT at record lows.

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Bill’s Blog is way out ahead of NBC news. My data is updated weekly. The Great Lakes have had a significant increase in water levels since early spring. The only lake at a record low was Michigan/Huron and that was back in mid-winter. Lake Michigan/Huron is now a foot ABOVE the lowest June level recorded in 1964. You just can’t trust “mainstream media” to be the gospel truth anymore. NBC was the network that edited the Trayvon Martin tape: The edit was made on purpose to advance a political position.

  3. BJ says:

    There was also a story on the news last night about the drought in the SW U.S. One small town in New Mexico has run out of water. The well that supplies the town has gone dry. So we should be really glad the lake levels here are going up and that we are getting rain. And we should do everything possible to help preserve the Great Lakes. They are a true treaure!

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Here’s the story: They should probably dig a new well. In the short term, they should consider renting a tanker truck and transporting water from the next town over. This wiki article ( says tank trucks have capacities ranging from 5,500 to 11,600 US gallons.

      1. Jenkins says:

        The US Southwest along with the entire Mississippi River Valley has endured droughts that have gone on for hundreds of years.

        Relying on a single well for the town’s water? Probably not a good idea. The pueblo cliff-dwellers had to leave their ancestral homes for more friendly climates.

  4. BJ says:

    I meant to say ” treasure”.

Leave a Reply