Great Lakes Water Levels and Ice Cover Update

May 9th, 2014 at 1:36 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

Lake Michigan S. Haven Channel 5 14 Jack Martin  This is another great pic. from Jack Martin, showing the S. Haven channel, with the darker (muddier and warmer) river flow.  There are some bright cirrus clouds coming in from the west.

The Great Lakes water levels continue their spring rise.  Lake Michigan/Huron is up 1″ in the last week, 8″ in the last month and 12″ in the last year.  That’s a very significant year-t0-year rise.  Same for Lake Superior, which is up 2″ in the last week, up 6″ in the last month and up 13″ since May 2013.  Lake Erie is up 2″ in the last week, up 6″ in the last month and up 8″ in the  last year.  Lake Ontario is up 1″ in the last week, up a whopping 15″ in the last month and up 9″ year-to-year.  Three of the five Great Lakes now have water levels above the century average (Erie up 1″, Superior up 2″ and Ontario up 4″).  Lake Michigan/Huron are 10″ below the century average, partly or entirely due to dredging the St. Clair River.  I’ll add that Lake St. Clair is up 6″ in the last month and up 11″ in the past year.   The Army Corps of Engineers expects the water level of the lakes to rise 1 – 6″ in May. Lake Superior’s flow down the St. Mary’s River is expected to be above average during May.

The 5/9 ice percentage shows 2% ice cover on Lake Michigan. Lake Superior still shows a 31% ice cover, Lake Huron is at 8%, Lake Erie (the southernmost Great Lake) is at 0.1% ice cover and Lake Ontario is totally ice freeTotal Great Lakes Ice Cover is at 15% on 5/9.  That’s the most ice we have ever had on the Great Lakes this late in the year.

Also:   A forecast for a cool summer in Michigana word on beach safetysearching for a 17th century shipwreck in Lake Michigan…and the latest at Boatnerd.

One Response to “Great Lakes Water Levels and Ice Cover Update”

  1. Psalmon says:

    The Army Corps forecast now has Lake Superior above the seasonal average for the rest of 2014. However they are notoriously conservative.

    Also USGS shows releases from Superior are significant, Gauge height is above any level for the last 3 years this Jan-Apr.

    Another data point, IJC had to get permission to raise releases above what’s typically allowed, issuing a warning boaters and fisherman.

    Finally if you look at GLERL NOAA, if Superior continues to rise and gap last year like it is now, the Lake will be nearing a foot above normal and record highs. That’s amazing.

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