Great Lakes News and Water LevelsJuly 10th, 2014 at 7:21 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, News, Weather
This is a MODIS Lake Michigan satellite picture taken today (Thurs.) showing clear skies over Lake Michigan. There is an onshore breeze all around the lake (west wind in Lower Michigan, north wind in Indiana, east wind in Wisconsin). With all the rain we’ve had, everything is green and crops are mostly in very good shape at this point in the growing season (picture from NOAA Coastwatch).
Lake Michigan/Huron is up 4″ in the last month, up 14″ in the last year and just 5″ below the century average (that should drop to -4 or -3 this month). Lake Superior is up 3″ in the last month, up 13″ year-to-year and is now 6″ above average level. Lake Erie is up 2″ in the last month, up 5″ in the last year and is now 5″ above the long-term average. Lake Ontario is down 2″ in the last month, down 2″ year-to-year and is 5″ above the century average. Lake St. Clair is up 2″ in the last month, up 4″ year-to-year and is 3″ above the long-term average. Flow down the St. Mary’s River from Lake Superior into Lake Michigan/Huron will remain above average through July. River levels in West Michigan remain above average flow. The Grand River in Grand Rapids is high, but still well below flood stage at 8680 cfs compared to an average flow of 2,370 cfs. Lake Michigan beach water temperatures are in the 60s. The mid-Lake Michigan buoy west of Holland (east-southeast of Milwaukee) shows a water temp. of 63°.
Finally, check out this article from yesterday…it says: “The Council of the Great Lakes Region released a new report last week, ‘Low Water Blues,’ projecting the economic impacts of future low water levels in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River regions. Although the report estimates a potential $19 billion in economic losses by 2050 if the Great Lakes water levels continue to decline, Stop the Drop founder Colin Dobell told The Expositor that this number won’t be enough alone to raise the alarm, stressing the need for the public to rally behind the cause in order for the government to take action. “The report had a good, broad amount of funding and involvement across all sectors…”
Now compare that alarmism with reality in the first paragraph above. The Great Lakes are not “continuing to decline”…they have gone up significantly. Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron are all up over a foot in the last year. Lake Superior is so high that they have upped the water release through the St. Mary’s River, which flows down into Lake Huron. Contrast that article to this one in the Chicago Tribune.