Great Lakes Water Levels and Ice UpdateApril 5th, 2014 at 12:43 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, News, Weather
This is a picture from the Coast Guard Icebreaker 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 Royale. Coast Guard Warning to stay off the ice. Ice delaying shipping season.