Great Lakes Water Levels and Ice Update

April 5th, 2014 at 12:43 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

This is a picture from the Coast Guard Welcome IslandIcebreaker Mackinaw (pic. from Rick Leow, click on the image to enlarge).  This is in Thunder Bay, Ontario.  The Mackinaw reported ice in the bay up to 40″ thick in March with 12″ of snow on top of that.   Lake Michigan/Huron is up one inch in the past month and up 13″ year-to-year.  It’s 16″ below the century average.  The lake level is expected to come up 4-5″ during the month of April.  If it were to go up 5″, the lake would be just 11″ below the long-term average.  Lake Superior is up 1″ in the last month and up 15″ in the last year (that’s a lot!).  Superior is exactly at the century average.   Lake Erie is up 6″ in the last month and is 6″ above the level of one year ago.  The lake is 6″ below the century average for April, but is expected to climb 5″ during April.  The water level of Lake Ontario is unchanged in the last month and is exactly at the level of one year ago.  It’s 12″ below the long-term average (this lake had open water and hence more evaporation), but is expected to climb 8″ during April.  The outflow of water from Lake Superior down the St. Mary’s River into Lake Michigan/Huron is expected to be above average during April.  The outflow from Lake St. Clair through the Detroit River into Lake Erie is expected to be near average.

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.   You can check Michigan river levels here.   Most river levels in Southern Lower Michigan are well above average flow because of rainfall and 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.

Also:  White Lake to be removed from list of  “toxic hot spots”Zebra mussels improve property values?    Update on wolves and moose on Isle RoyaleCoast Guard Warning to stay off the ice.   Ice delaying shipping season.

9 Responses to “Great Lakes Water Levels and Ice Update”

  1. Jack says:

    FIRST, Keep The Good News ” Flowing “”" BILL. Also Let Me, add This Link To This Thread ! ENJOY ::: Stay Cued… ;-)

  2. Jack says:

    On April 5 in Southwest Lower Michigan…

    Arctic air pours into Lower Michigan in the wake of a snowstorm and lake effect snows pile up over a foot across western Lower Michigan. The 12 inches of snow at Muskegon makes this the snowiest April day on record there.
    Severe thunderstorm winds in excess of 80 mph and hail up to golf ball size hit southern Kalamazoo County from Schoolcraft to Vicksburg. Siding on the western sides of many homes was shredded by the wind driven large hail. Stay Cued….. ;-)

  3. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

    With all the snow melt here in Michigan, maybe we can get the lake levels up near normal. I hope it warms up soon, so we can get the shipping boats moving.

  4. GunLakeDeb says:

    That’s pretty exciting about White Lake being removed as a “Toxic Hot Spot”!!!

  5. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

    I just came across something, I have forgotten about here in Michigan: commercial fishing. Commercial fishing on the great lakes is a dying business from what I been reading. I always believe we had good commercial fishing business, I was wrong.

  6. Resourceful Nana says:

    Curious about other inland lakes and ice melt. Here on Portage Lake (St. Joseph County), there has been a tremendous increase in open water in the last 24 hours. It’s amazing what the wind can do! And it was wonderful to see the colors of the setting sun reflecting on liquid water once again.

    1. Jack says:

      Interesting Read Here, LARRY !! The Story of State-licensed Commercial Fishing History on the Great …,4570,7-153-10364_52259-316019–,00.html.

  7. Resourceful Nana says:

    I read the zebra mussel piece. I can concur that they improve water clarity–unfortunately, in our lake with lots of nutrients, that makes it easier for the weeds to grow (including eurasian milfoil)!

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