Great Lakes Water Levels – and Increasing Ice

January 9th, 2014 at 9:22 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

modis great lakes   First, the MODIS Great Lakes pic. from today (1/9) shows that most of Lake Erie now has an ice cover (though it’s not solid)…notice there are no lake-effect clouds over Lake Erie.  Lake Ontario is pretty much all open water, as are most of the Finger Lakes in New York State.   Lakes that are deepest are slowest to freeze over.  The two deepest (and biggest) of the Finger Lakes are much deeper than Lake Erie.  Erie has a maximum depth of 210 feet, while Cuyuga Lake goes down to 435 feet and Seneca Lake’s deepest point is 618 feet deep, nearly 3 times as deep as Lake Erie.   Lake Ontario is much deeper than Lake Erie at 802 feet, so it has less surface ice now.   The picture shows a good deal of ice in southern Lake Huron.  You can see the two islands in Lake Superior, Michipicoten is the bigger island and Caribou is the small island below Michipicoten.  You can see Torch Lake NE of Traverse City still has open water.  That’s another deep lake, at 285 feet it’s deeper than Lake Erie. …and you can plainly see my tornado scar, WNW of Green Bay.  See what else you can see on the image (click on the image to enlarge or click here).

Lake Michigan-Huron is down 1″ in the last month, but is up a remarkable 15″ in the last year.  It’s still down 14″ from the average level.  Lake Superior is down 2″ in the last month, but is up 14″ year-to-year and is now one inch higher than the average level.  Lake Erie is up 7″ in the last month, up 10″ in the last year and is 2″ above the average water level.  Lake Ontario is up 4 inches in the last month, up 11″ year-to-year and is also 2″ above the century average.  The big story here remains the spectacular year-to-year rise in the levels of all the Great Lakes.

The ice balls on Lake Michigan near Glen Arbor have returned.  There was an ice jam on the Niagara RiverVan Buren County seeks help to stabilize dunes..and Chinese television comes to cover the cold, ice and winter steam of Lake Michigan.

22 Responses to “Great Lakes Water Levels – and Increasing Ice”

  1. WswPlz says:

    Don’t see much in our forecast for any sig. snow, at least through this time next week. Some talk about a few short waves coming our way, but not much. This weekend could really mess up our nice white snow blanket. Hope next weekend has better promise for additional snow to add to our great start!! Go away rain and warm weather…..! More S_ _ _ .! And C_ _ _.!! :) plz

  2. INDYY says:


    1. Jack says:

      THEEEE IWS….Has Spoken !!! Keep Up The Great Work…..INDY…Stay Cued 4 a JEM Snowstorm around The 18th of This Month ! Also JEM is just starting to Track & Stack ” A Biggie” in Febuary !! What says YOU??? my Friend ! ;-)

  3. WswPlz says:

    Bill do you think we might see Lake Michigan freeze over this year, or with this bit of warm air coming puts a huge dent in our chances. In past years of this occurrence , have we had times like this week where temps moderated, or in the past did we see cold weather throughout.

    1. TomKap (Michigan St. & Fuller) Grand Rapids says:

      Nope. Spring and BIG HEAT for Summer coming early this year. Hooray!

  4. Jack says:

    Off Topic !!! It’s Hard To Believe That Jimmy Page Turned 70 Yesterday ( Thursday) !!! CUE, JIMMMY PAGE:::

    1. WswPlz says:

      Wow I didn’t think of him as being that age. More like 60 ish. In rock star years he is like 170. Anyways happy Bday to a rock legend. Now que the next winter storm warning!!!

      1. Jack says:

        Stay Cued WsWPlz !! Right now The JEM Model Has FRIDAY ON IT’S MIND !!!!! Cue, The EASYBEATS ::: ;-)

  5. WswPlz says:

    I’m fine with spring and heat and fire up the thunder storms all in do time Tom. It’s winter and this is Michigan so you already know how this works. So let’s sit back drink some sprites, or your beverage of choice and enjoy exiting through an upstairs patio door because this will be a winter for the history books. I say bring it, I mean we do live on an old glacier. :)

    1. TomKap (Michigan St. & Fuller) Grand Rapids says:

      I’ll pass.
      And this Winter isn’t going to make any history books. These are the kind of Winters we had all the time back in the 1950′s. I’m glad they went away. This one can’t end soon enough.

      1. WswPlz says:

        Well I can’t argue that winter is not as it used to be, however I think this will be one to remember, or forget depending on what you like. Take the cold alone last week, that was something that has not occurred in 17 years. I’m sure that bit will be of record, and winter has just begun, so I guess we will see. Omg I need to sleep. Lol

  6. WswPlz says:

    Some call it the mitten as a few reside in the thumb. Many beg for spring yet winter has just begun. All trying to forecast what weather is to come. Will it rain ,will it snow, yet this answer we not know.( except Bill )

    1. WswPlz says:

      People will be smitten and some just numb, but this much is certain Mother Nature is far from done.

      1. Amanda says:

        Clever! Contributers to the blog come in all shapes, sizes, ages and talent levels, but we all have two things in common …love for all things weather and Bill’s blog.

        1. WswPlz says:

          Very true and speaking of weather, I wish this rain would change to snow this weekend. :(

        2. Amanda says:

          I agree 100%, but being we are in MI, you know the “thaw” has to come sooner or later. Snow lovers have been a bit on the spoiled side this winter thus far, and I am crossing my fingers that it will continue. Good to have you here on the blog, WSW.

  7. WswPlz says:

    So maybe you can help me understand why many are happy about this so called thaw this weekend. I posted on the other thread (100% rain) and asked a question based on that. I don’t get it. The snow is beautiful. Anyways thanks Amanda for the warm welcome. I’ve been reading this blog since last Feb. when I moved out here. Have not ever posted though…. I do enjoy reading all the interesting info. Bill has on his threads, as well as many of the people who post.

    1. Amanda says:

      I am happy for the slight thaw only because it will help clear up the snow pack on the roads, driveways and parking lots. When its so bitterly cold, nothing will touch it. I dread it also, because I know what above freezing temps and rain will do to the dirt roads that I travel down every week day. Its a blessing and a curse, I suppose. I too love the snow and would not want to live anywhere else. This is the weather that is common to this great state, therefore, I see no sense in complaining about something only God has control over. What will be, will be and the best thing you can do is enjoy it while its here because we all know, it can change drastically tomorrow. :)

      1. WswPlz says:

        Well put, don’t think you could have said it better. That’s why I’m so in awe of the weather. You just never know what the big guy has in store for us. And when it happens it is usually amazing. Kinda like the ice storm we had; very disruptive but how beautiful it was when the sun came out and reflected off the trees. It was like a ice palace! As for the thaw, I guess it depends where you live. I don’t have as much snow where I am, at least not compared to G.R and basically south areas.

  8. OneMom says:

    Always good to see water levels going up in the Great Lakes. Also good to see “your” tornado scar Bill. I forget now, what year was the tornado that made that scar in Wisconsin?

      1. Jack says:

        Hey Bill, Maybe You could The Get The MODIS Pic. Of “Your” Tornado SCAR image, Put on ” A TIE” for You To Wear!!! Just a Thought….What Ya Think ? Staying CUED & God Bless!!! ;-)

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