Great Lakes Water LevelsNovember 29th, 2013 at 7:32 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, News, Weather
Here’s a picture taken earlier today from the Muskegon GLERL camera. It was mostly cloudy with breaks int he clouds. A light offshore wind meant the lake was pretty calm. You can see the snow sitting on the breakwaters. The big story continues to be the almost unprecedented jump in Great Lakes water levels over the past year. Lake Michigan/Huron (one big lake for lake level purposes) is now 15″ higher than it was one year ago today. Since each inch of water on Lake Michigan represents 390 billion gallons of water, that means we’ve added 5.85 trillion gallons of water to Lake Michigan in just the past 12 months. The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron is up 2″ in the past month, but remains 14″ below the historical average. It’s 14″ above the lowest November level ever, reached in 1964. Lake Superior is down 1″ in the last month, but has climbed 12″ in the last year. Superior is 3″ below the century average. Lake Erie is down 3″ in the last month, but up 6″ year-to-year. Erie is 2″ below the long-term average. Lake Ontario is down 1″ in the last month, but up 13″ in the last year. Ontario is 2″ above the century average. The flow of water down the St. Mary’s River from Lake Superior to Lake Huron and the volume of water going down the Niagara River from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario is expected to remain near average. Precipitation for G.R. for 2013 is 7.11″ above average. The flow on the Grand River in Grand Rapids as I write this is at 114% of average flow.
The mid-Lake Michigan buoy is still out there 40 miles west of Holland. As I write this, it shows a water temperature of 43.6 degrees. They’ll retrieve the buoy for the winter any day now, but I (and I’m sure all the meteorologists) are very appreciative that they’ve been able to leave the buoy out there for the fall storms and early lake-effect snow events. Also: An update on the train tunnel scheduled to be built under the Detroit River…Family sells Lake Michigan Island…and…Have we found the oldest shipwreck in Lake Michigan?