Great Lakes Water LevelsMarch 21st, 2014 at 3:34 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron is down 1″ in the last month, but up 12″ since one year ago. The level remains 13″ below the century average. Lake Superior is unchanged in the last month (not surprising since it’s been +90% ice covered for much of that time) and also up 12″ in the past year. Superior is exactly at it’s average level. Lake St. Clair is up 9″ in the last month (it varies more than the bigger lakes) and up 11″ in the last year. Lake Erie is up 4″ in the last month, up 3″ in the last year and 2″ below the century average. Lake Ontario (which is the lake that has had the most open water over the past month and quite likely the most evaporation) is down 2″ in the past month and down 2″ year-to-year. Ontario is 6″ below the long-term average. You can check Michigan river levels here. Check out the Grand River in Grand Rapids. You can see the level shot up about 1 1/2 feet when the ice jam broke up in Comstock Park. Most rivers have above average flow. Here’s the latest Flood Advisory from the G.R. National Weather Service. The picture here was taken on 3/18 (Tue.) at the Holland Channel. Jack took to the air to give you an overhead look at the ice and the channel. Check out his video here.
Lake Superior at 95.3% ice cover on the first day of spring…compare to the last several years: 2010 5% 2011 9% 2012 2% 2013 10%. Check out the ice on Lake Michigan near Northport. Here’s Lake Michigan ice seen from a Coast Guard helicopter. A larger than usual amount of salt is washing into Lake Michigan this year. The Canadian Coast Guard is using more icebreakers on the Great Lakes. Hiking across the ice to North Manitou Island. Also, Comstock Park, Michigan makes the Buzzfeed. So far in 2014, the coldest temperatures recorded were in Vostok, Antarctica with a low of -92 F (-69 C) & high of -76 F (-60 C)
Models: The European model gives G.R. 0.14″ of precipitation (mainly light rain) this evening…the GFS plot is up to 0.27″. We could get a few light snow showers or flurries Sat….the Euro. gives G.R. about 3/4″ snow Tuesday. It sure is a cold pattern for this late in the season. The European gives G.R. an 850mb temp. of -17° Sunday PM, -18° Monday AM and -16° Weds. AM. Then it looks like a cold rain next Thurs. PM. It still looks cool thru the rest of the month…in past years when it’s been cold/snowy we’ve flipped to warm in April…as early as 2nd week of April.