Great Lakes Water Levels

July 26th, 2013 at 3:05 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Lake Michigan Holland from Gary at ReportIt Dragon Cloud   Check out the “Dragon Cloud” ready to eat “Big Red”, the lighthouse at Holland, Michigan.  See the picture here full screen.  (from Gary Brink at ReportIt).   The most impressive figures in the weekly Great Lakes Water Level Report is the continued impressive rise in the water level of Lake Superior.  Superior is a big lake and it takes 552 BILLION gallons of water to add one inch to the lake level.   Lake Superior is up 6″ in the last month and is now 6″ higher than one year ago.  The lake is now only 2″ below the average level.  Lake Michigan/Huron is up 1″ in the last month and is 3″ higher than one year ago.  It’s 19″ below the century average.  Now, check out the levels downsteam from the (dredged) St. Clair River:  Lake St. Clair, up 6″ in the last month, up 10″ in the last year and just one inch below average.  Lake Erie, up 6″ in the last month, up 13″ in the last year and 4″ HIGHER than the long-term average level for July.  Lake Ontario is now up a whopping 15″ in the last year and is now 5″ HIGHER than the century-average level for July.  Despite the rise in Great Lakes water levels, we continue to see articles like this from just a few weeks ago, which says:  “…comprehensive data collected and maintained by the (Army) Corps is reflecting continued low water conditions for at least four of the five Great Lakes over the course of 2013.”   The data I have been posting each week is from the Army Corps of Engineers and freely available to anyone who knows where to look or bothers to make a call to the Army Corps or do a Google search.  It’s frustrating to see misinformation spread around.

In other news:  1839 shipwreck found in Lake OntarioThe fight to keep Asian carp out of Lake Michigan continuesTall ship hit by lightning (starts a fire) forcing it to cancel Great Lakes appearance.  This is the 2nd time in 2 years the ship has been hit by lightning… and Jim Dreyer, the long-distance Great Lakes swimmer plans to raise money for Habitat for Humanity by pulling 2,000 pounds of bricks across Lake St. Clair.

13 Responses to “Great Lakes Water Levels”

  1. Jack says:

    First, Bill Thank- You For Giving US, The TRUE Info. On Great Lake Water Levels ! And Wow The Cloud Does Look Like a Dragon Ready 2 Swallow Big Red.What kinda Cloud is That ? Also…. You Guessed it A CUE:: Enjoy..and God Bless You !!! :-)

  2. Dan says:

    This is great info Bill! The Great Lakes are such a great resource! Do you think Lake Michigan continues to warm through August or has it reached its max temp? What great weather we have been having! Can you hit the replay button ?

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Beach water temps. peaked at 80 at Holland and 79 at Grand Haven and we won’t get back to those levels in August. Usually, the average water temp. of the lake as a whole comes in mid-August and with this cool stretch, it’s possible it may not get back to the warmest July level.

    2. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      I am so glad we hit the beach last Sunday. Sounds like we hit it at the perfect time.

  3. INDY says:


  4. Nathan says:

    Heading off on another vacation… But quick question though. When is the rain expected to begin today? I am week getting a big mixture of answers

  5. Imthemom (just n holland) says:

    Great picture! Hey Gary Brink is your dad Uncle Gordie? If so this is your cousin Jackie, Leon’s wife. Hopefully we just made a Dutch Bingo!

  6. Vincent(N.E.Kent CO) says:

    Nice steady rain here. Started around 8:20am. 62.4 temp.

  7. DF (SE Mich) says:

    Keep the rise coming! With the rain the UP keeps getting, Lake Superior should pass the average soon.

  8. TrippedUpDaddy(Belmont) says:

    Wow, who knew that the annual “Lord Voldemort/Deatheater Family Picnic” was at Holland State Park this year?

    (Love the pic)

  9. Daniel G says:

    Lake Superior is regulated by the headgates at Sault Ste. Marie and thru water allocation to the Edison Soo hydro plant and the Corp of Engineers hydro plant. The governments of the US and Canada can, to some extent, regulate the lake.
    That is by no means meant to diminish the rise in Superior levels. Thats a good thing. Also means the power plants can make more clean electricity for the Great White North!! Eh? OK!
    The Edison Soo has a rather fascinating history going back to the turn of the century. The Cleargue group had their hands in it and when built it was not only the longest power plant by also the second biggest in output in the US after a Niagra Falls plant in New York. I beleive Cloverland Electric Co-Op has ownership now. They have tours the last weekend of June along with the Corp of Engineers at the locks.

  10. Olmon says:

    Did anyone ever wonder why the powerplant at the Soo is named after Edison when the Niagra Falls plant, which is bigger and older ISN’T named after & rarely even attributed to Tesla??

  11. Kris says:

    Great picture Gary!!

Leave a Reply