Great Lakes Water Levels

March 13th, 2014 at 9:40 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

muskegon glerl   This picture is just before sunset from the Muskegon GLERL camera.  Still lots of ice on Lake Michigan, but the channel is now pretty much open water.  Four of the five Great Lakes saw no change in water level over the past month.  That would make sense with the amount of ice and the cold air limiting runoff.  The one lake that did see a change was Lake Ontario, which is down 3″ in the last month.  That makes sense, because Ontario has been mostly open water, some of which evaporates even when it’s below zero and because there is little runoff from the snow that has been accumulating on land and not melting.  Lake Ontario is at the same water level as one year ago.   Lake Erie is 2″ above the level of one year ago.  Lake Superior is up 13″ in the last year (that’s a lot!) and it’s now 1″ higher than the long-term average.  Lake Michigan/Huron (one big lake for lake level purposes) is also 13″ higher than one year ago and it remains 13″ below the long-term average.   As I write this Thurs. evening, Lake Michigan still has a 74.8% ice cover, Lake Superior at 94.3%Lake Huron at 93.6%Lake Erie at 91.3% and Lake Ontario at 29.3%.   The Great Lakes total ice cover on March 12 was 84.1%.

Also, many animals having a hard time with the long, cold winter, including starving ducks in Chicago, deer in Canada, bees in Ohio (and Michigan), livestock in China.   Also, walking from Charlevoix 25 miles to Beaver Island.     Unrelated, but cool video of heavy snow this winter in the Alps.

16 Responses to “Great Lakes Water Levels”

  1. Mark (EGR) says:

    What are the official snow depth numbers as of now?

  2. Video worth watching!
    John Coleman is my second favorite Weatherperson.
    Please share!

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      John Coleman is a facebook friend of mine. I first met him in 1976. He’s 79 years old, as sharp as ever and still doing the weather on KUSI in San Diego:

      1. Wswplz says:

        That’s so funny I,used to watch him often….On k u s I, sorry I was singing the little jingle in my head. I lived in San Diego for 10+ years! he does a great job your right, I wasn’t aware he was still doing the weather, then again why wouldn’t he be….

        1. Wswplz says:

          Once you’ve heard how he says KUSI you can never forget him, plus of course his voice is just one you never forget. He always seems sooo happy as well, that’s cool that you know him, seems like a great fun loving person, but also one who takes his job seriously with out all the fluff.

        2. Wswplz says:

          Good video thanks for sharing…Hard to see all those pictures in La Jolla when you lived there and it’s freeeeeezing here lol

    2. Robert (Plainwell) says:

      Very informative , thanks for posting the link.

    3. whatBillwantstosaybutcant says:

      I’m just glad that he acknowledges the earth is not 6000 years old. I gladly listened to the rest of video once that was established.

  3. tyler says:

    Hey Bill are the snowbanks still large in Grand Rapids? You think they will last into April?

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      I’ll bet the bigger snowbanks will be greatly reduced, but you’ll still find snow here on April 1.

  4. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

    I am sure some bee keepers will loose some bees because of the cold hard winter. It will be interesting to see if the deer population drops here in Michigan because of the weather. I am sure some of the birds returning to Michigan are thinking they came back too soon. When it does warm-up then we’ll have to deal with severe storms. BILL, you and your team has done a wonderful job this winter. I am sure your team will be busy this spring/summer. Good night everyone.

  5. Travis Ulberg (West of Martin, Allegan County) says:

    Down to 23° here. Colder than I figured it would be. Wind must have some westerly flow to it?

  6. Dan (Byron Center) says:

    What does the temp get to today? 27 now. Southwest winds. I say we get up to 46 for today. Then, cooler!

  7. TO says:

    Lake Michigan ice is stated as 74.8% Yestersdays blog said it was mostly ice free. ??

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      We’ve had an interesting back-and-forth among a handful of meteorologists today about that…it’s down below 60% this evening, which we think is too high. Satellite pictures/loops don’t show that much ice.

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