Great Lakes Ice and Water LevelsMarch 30th, 2014 at 9:04 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Click on each image to enlarge. This is a comparison of ice on Lake Superior with previous years. We’ve never seen more at this time in late March and the wind coming off all that ice and snow up north will keep us chilly quite a few days in April. Here’s the graph of ice this winter on Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Superior, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Here’s the GLERL ice analysis for the Great Lakes and for Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Superior, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron is unchanged in the last month. The level is 13″ higher than it was one year ago, but remains 13″ below the long-term average, likely due to dredging the St. Clair River. Lake Michigan/Huron is 15″ higher than it was in March 1964. Lake Superior is down one inch in the last month, but is also 13″ higher than one year ago. Superior is exactly at the century average and it is 19″ higher than the lowest March level of 1926 and 15″ below the highest March level of 1986. There’s a lot of snow to melt around Lake Superior in April. Lake Erie is up 4″ in the last month and is 4″ higher than one year ago. Erie is one inch lower than the long-term average. Ontario (which had the least ice cover and hence more evaporation over the last month) is down 2″ in the last month, down 2″ year-to-year and down 6″ from the century average. Lake St. Clair is up 3″ in the last month, up 9″ in the last year and down 2″ from the century average. You can check Michigan river levels here. Most river levels in Southern Lower Michigan are well above average flow because of snowmelt. Here’s an example, the Grand River at Ionia. Here’s current Flood Advisories. Here’s HPC’s total rainfall forecast for the next 7 days. The heaviest rain stays to our south, but significant precipitation is still expected in SW Michigan.