Great Lakes Ice and Water LevelsApril 24th, 2014 at 10:43 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Click on the images to enlarge. The image on the left (from Environment Canada) is the percent of ice on the Great Lakes, which is now almost DOUBLE the previous record. The image on the right (from NOAA Coastwatch) shows the ice on the Great Lakes today. We still have approx. 35% ice cover on the Great Lakes. The AVERAGE ice cover for 4/25 is 1%. The 4/25 ice percentage shows 17.5% ice cover on Lake Michigan. Lake Superior still shows a 67.5% ice cover, Lake Huron is at 25.7%, Lake Erie (the southernmost Great Lake) is at 7.0% ice cover and Lake Ontario is has a 0.9% ice cover. This adds up to 32,400 square miles of ice left on the Great Lakes!
The latest Great Lakes water levels from the Army Corps of Engineers shows that 3 of the 5 Great Lakes are now ABOVE their historical water level average. Lake Michigan/Huron (one lake for lake level purposes) is now back to single digits below average. Lake Michigan/Huron is up 7″ in the last month and up 11″ year-to-year. It’s now 9″ below the long-term average. Lake Superior is up 4″ in the last month, up an astonishing 14″ year-to-year and it’s now 2″ above the century average. Lake Erie is up 8″ in the last month, 6″ in the last year and is now 1″ above the historical average. Lake Ontario is up an amazing 17″ in the last month, up 6″ in the last year and is now 4″ above the long-term average. The lakes are expected to gain another 2-4″ by the end of May. The outflow from Lake Superior down the St. Mary’s River is expected to continue to be above average. That water feeds down into Lake Michigan/Huron.
With a SE wind – it was just as warm at the Lake Michigan shoreline as it was inland. The high temperature today on the beach at Muskegon was 58.2° and on the beach at S. Haven it was 60.7°. It was a different story on the other side of Lake Michigan, where the SE wind off Lake Michigan kept the high temperature down to 43.6 on the beach at Milwaukee.