Great Lakes Water Levels

October 17th, 2013 at 8:10 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

muskegon glerl   This is the view from the Muskegon GLERL webcam around sunset this Thurs. evening – some breaks in the clouds as the rain lifts out.  The main story here remains the dramatic gain in the water level of all of the Great Lakes.  Here’s the change in the last year:  Lake Michigan +11″, Lake Huron +11″, Lake Erie +13″, Lake Ontario +13″, Lake Superior +15″, Lake St. Clair +12″.   This represents a total increase of (drum roll) 20.84 TRILLION GALLONS of water into the five Great Lakes in the past year!   Lake Michigan/Huron is now 16″ below the average water level…BUT, if you consider the decrease attributed to dredging the St. Clair River (this from the Huffington Post:  “Studies have shown that Huron and Michigan fell by 10 to 16 inches because of dredging over the years to deepen the navigational channel in the St. Clair River. Dredging of the river, which is on the south end of Lake Huron, accelerated the flow of water southward from the two lakes toward Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, and eventually into the Atlantic Ocean.  Groups representing shoreline property owners, primarily in Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay, have demanded action to slow the Lake Huron and Michigan outflow to make up for losses that resulted from dredging, which they contend are even greater than officials have acknowledged.”)  – the lakes may be at or close to their modern average level.  Lake Superior is now just 2″ below the long-term average and Lakes Erie and Ontario are 1 inch above their century average.

Great Lakes news:  Uh-oh, the spiny water fleapublic forum in Muskegon 10/23 on the Great LakesLake Michigan shipwreck now nature preserveremembering Hurricane Hazel, that moved up into the Great Lakes.

Side note:  This article on lake levels in Crain’s Detroit Business has a somewhat misleading headline:  “With Great Lakes stuck at historic lows, talk turns to adapting”.      Three of the five Great Lakes are at historic averages (Superior -2″, Erie and Ontario +1″).  I sure hope the people in Cleveland and Toronto can adapt to a Great Lake that’s one inch ABOVE the historic average.   Note that the first comment to the article brings up the topic of dredging in the St. Clair River, while the article itself does not.     The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron is now more than a foot (13 in.) above the historic low in 1964.   Lake Erie is 31″ above its historic low and Lake Ontario is 32″ above its history low (and 9″ closer to its historic high than to its historic low).


4 Responses to “Great Lakes Water Levels”

  1. Bryan says:

    Saw an interesting 60 min. piece on the History Channel about the Great Lakes. The show was pretty much the evolution of the Great Lakes from the beginning of time until now. At the end of the segment, the two experts were dead serious in saying the decrease in water levels is due a geological rise in the earths crust in the Great Lakes region. Recovering from the now missing weight of the glaciers, and lack of water weight is the contributing factor to this “natural recovery of the earth’s crust”. They calculated that the tower (is it the CN Tower?) in Toronto, Canada is rising at a rate of 4-6 inches per year? Think of a pool table, the higher it is raised on one end, the faster the departure water is flowing out on the lower end….. to the St. Lawrence River and the Atlantic Ocean.

    I have never heard this rise in the earth’s crust theory before. Curious to hear what Bill’s thoughts are?


  2. Jill C. says:

    Whew! For a minute there I thought they were going claim it was all due to global wa . . . oops, I mean climate change. ;)

  3. Judy says:

    But they don’t want facts to screw up their story. If they say it’s so in a newsstory, then it is true….right? ;)

  4. GunLakeDeb says:

    Thanks for the link to the Spiny Water Flea – this will be the NEXT invasive species we have to deal with on inland lakes… :-(

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