Great Lakes Water Levels Continue Upward TrendJune 27th, 2013 at 8:38 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, News, Weather
This is a spectacular overlook on M-22 near Arcadia (between Manistee and Frankfort) where bluffs rise 400 feet above Lake Michigan. We stop here often when we go back and forth to Traverse City. Pic. by Jack Martin at ReportIt. Check out the picture full screen. The water level of all five Great Lakes (and Lake St. Clair) are now higher than one year ago. The level of Lake Michigan/Huron gained another inch in the past week. The level is up 4″ in the last month and it’s now one inch above the level of one year ago. The lake is now 13″ above the record lowest June level of 1964. It’s still 18″ below the 100-year average (remember I linked to this article from the Milwaukee Journal. The article states “The St. Clair (River) has been heavily dredged for over a century, and the federal government has long acknowledged that this human meddling in the riverbed has led to a permanent drop of about 16 inches from Michigan and Huron’s long-term average. A Canadian conservation group created by property owners from northern Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay hired its own engineering firm to conduct a study of what was going on in the St. Clair River back in 2004. That study said the water lost from the lakes by expanding the river channel was actually much greater than 16 inches – and getting worse.” If this is to be believed, without the dredging, we’d be at or even above average water levels right now.
Lake Superior has had the 2nd biggest spring water level rise in recorded (back to 1918) history. It’s also up 4″ in the last month (each inch is 552 billion gallons!) and is now six inches below the long-term average. It’s now 18″ above the lowest June recorded level (in 1926) and 18″ below the highest recorded June level (in 1986). Lake Erie is up 6″ in the last month, 3″ inches higher than at this time last year and just 3″ below the average June level. Lake Ontario has gained a whopping TEN INCHES of water in the last month. Ontario is 11″ higher than one year ago and 5″ ABOVE the century average.
Here’s some river volumes as of 8:30 PM Thursday. First figure is current flow in cubic feet per second and the second number is the median river flow for late June: Grand River, Grand Rapids 4510 – 2430, Thornapple River, Hastings 303 – 169, Looking Glass River, Eagle 280 – 87, Muskegon River, Croton 1790 – 1419, Flint River, Flint 1210 – 268, Saginaw River, Saginaw 7030 – 3030, Huron River, Ann Arbor 2220 – 297, Kalamazoo River, New Richmond 3180 – 1800, St. Joseph River, Niles 4850 – 2859, Fox River, Oshkosh WI 7250 – 3920. With rivers running this high, the water level may jump another inch in the next week.