Great Lakes Water Levels (and more)

August 14th, 2014 at 8:36 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

Lake Michigan Michelle Olin  The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron is unchanged in the last 2 weeks and unchanged in the last 4 weeks.  However, the level is 16″ higher than it was one year ago.  That’s the biggest one-year change on Lake Michigan/Huron that I have ever seen.  Since each inch of water represents 390 billion gallons…that means an increase of 6.24 TRILLION gallons of water in just one year.   The lake remains 3″ below the long-term average and 28″ above the lowest August water level in 1964.  Lake Superior is unchanged in the last month and 9″ above the level of one year ago.  Superior is 6″ above the century average.  The biggest of the Great Lakes is 26″ above the lowest water level in August, set in 2007 and only 6″ below the highest August water level set in 1952.  Lake Erie is down one inch in the last month, up 4″ in the last year and 6″ above the long-term average.  Lake Ontario is down 5″ in the last month, down 1″ in the last year, but still 4″ above the century average.  Lake St. Clair is up 2″ in the last month, up 11″ in the last year and it’s now 7″ above the long-term average.  Lake Superior’s outflow down the St. Mary’s River into Lake Huron is expected to be “well above average” through August and into September.  The outflow from Lake Erie down the Niagara River and over Niagara Falls is expected to be above average for the rest of the summer.  (Picture of Lake Michigan from the awesome Michelle Olin)

OK – first, one of my favorite quotations from H.L Mencken:  “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”    Now – on to my featured article this week, this time from the Montreal Gazette.  I encourage you to read the article and see how that matches the reality in my first paragraph.    Now, look at the date, August 13, 2014 – so this article came out Wednesday of this week.  The article starts:  “Climate change experts predict that water volumes and levels in the St. Lawrence River Basin will continue to dwindle over time.”  Now, is the water level of the Great Lakes “dwindling”? – obviously no.     The writer continues:  “It is already nearly impossible to manage water levels in the basin simply by discharging water stored at the Sault-Ste-Marie, Welland-Niagara, Cornwall and Beauharnois dam complexes.   We’ve never been able to completely manage water levels.  In fact, we sometimes get in trouble when we do try and overmanage nature (dredging in the St. Clair River, building a nuclear power plant where they get severe earthquakes and tsunamis and letting people live 10 feet below sea level on river silt where they get hit by strong hurricanes and storm surges).    The article continues:  “The levels of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan are already some two feet or 60 centimetres lower than normal.”  NO THEY’RE NOT!!  The lakes are 3″ below “normal” NOT TWO FEET! The other 3 Great Lakes are well above normal.   It goes on to say:  “In a report this past June titled Lower Water Blues, the Mowat Centre of the University of Toronto conservatively assessed medium-term economic impacts at about $20 billion.   I wrote about the Mowat study 2 weeks ago.  The $20 billion figure is of course highly suspect, since the study was based on flawed input.  (But it could scare you into allowing them to take a lot more of your money).  The “dam solution” to all, the author says, will cost only 6 BILLION Dollars.  (Hot dang, we “save” 14 billion dollars!!).

The updated latest weekly Great Lakes water levels are available on the web (no password, no pay wall, no “use Mike’s trick to hide the increase”) from the Army Corps of Engineers every Thursday evening.

38 Responses to “Great Lakes Water Levels (and more)”

  1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    Keep that facts flowing! I love it!

  2. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    The last week of August will feature below average temperatures! Mark it down! INCREDIBLE!

  3. DF (EGR) says:

    My boat is going in next year so this is good news for a sailboat! I need crew bills blog ;)

    1. Jack says:

      Eye,Eye….Captian DF…. Staying CUEDD, for all Hands on Deck…..LOL….. ;-)

    2. Kevin(Rockford) says:

      If I didn’t already have a ride, I would consider it. What do you sail? Plan on racing?

      1. DF (EGR) says:

        We can carpool kev :) An old Catalina 30 and yes to racing every now and then. Stay in touch till next spring.

      2. Julie says:

        Enjoy seeing fellow racers on the board.

  4. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    BREAKING NEWS – Still no 90′s in sight! Imagine that!

    1. Tom says:

      Isn’t it time for you to go shopping for school clothes with your mom? I’m guessing you will go through withdrawals with sitting in class without the ability to post!

  5. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    Hah only 6 BILLION dollars! I’m sure 2012 was not a pretty year for Lake Michigan’s water levels. However, since then, we have gained a lot of ground. Do they not realize that things fluctuate over time in nature? I personally don’t believe that the lake levels are dropping or rising… they are just fluctuating.

  6. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    By the way I was doing some research and we did hit 92 degrees on August 27th last year and 94 on September 10th… so the chance is still there. If we don’t hit 90 this year then it will be a remarkable year weather wise: 2nd highest snowfall, no 90 degree days, and the REAL return of the polar vortex. (We probably won’t see the real polar vortex center for another 15+ years so if you hear anything on the news about it than just ignore it because it is speculation). Another point… just because this year was cold for MI does not mean there is an end to global warming. Many other parts of the nation and world have been exceptionally hot with that bad drought out west.

    1. John says:

      This country has experienced much worse droughts than what is going on now. The weather is always changing. I think that is my biggest issue with the climate change crowd. If the weather changes at all, either warmer or colder, above average or below average, it is blamed on humans and global warming. Basically if weather happens we are at fault. This planet has been much hotter than it is now, and it has also been nearly completely covered in ice.

  7. Mike M. says:

    It’s not important that the author completely mangles and makes up the facts, Bill. What’s important is that he CARES more than you. And since you disagree with his “facts” that means you hate the planet and everything on it. OMG, what kind of monster are you, anyway? What would Fred Allen think of you now? ;)

  8. Ned S. (East of Holland) says:

    Bill, the article you mentioned just reinforces my theory that most journalism schools are factories that turn out progressivism clones who will do anything including lying to promote their agendas. True classical journalism is dead, and that is a very disturbing thing.

  9. Paul m says:

    Hey nice picture of sleeping bear dunes

    1. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

      Yup that’s a pic of the big drop off. Don’t go down or there is no escape!

      1. Paul m says:

        Did it twice this year

  10. Down to 63 here already. Going to be a cold night

    1. Down to 60 here now. Dropped 3 degrees in the past approximately half hour!

  11. Jeremy (Three Rivers) says:

    53 here already. I’m passing the low from last night by 10pm. I wonder if we’ll get some upper 20s in the U.P. tonight. This cool weather is so refreshing.

    1. Jeremy (Three Rivers) says:

      Dropping. Though that temperature is measured on my little weather station on the roof (it’s likely warmer in town. It’s usually cooler here in the countryside).

  12. Ben Lamfers says:

    Bill do you want to come out and say categorically that there is NO CLIMATE CHANGE. I mean average temperatures globally are increasing. Tell us please!

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      1) There are huge natural swings in climate. We’ve had both palm trees and glaciers in West Michigan, long before there were incandescent light bulbs.
      2) The NASA temperature record from the Aqua satellite (this is FULL Earth – they don’t exclude the Arctic, which is having the coolest back-to-back summers since records began in 1958) and the Antarctic (where some stations had their coldest May-June ever) shows no change in global temperature since 2002: Even James Hansen has acknowledged “The Pause”.

      1. Brad says:

        I have corrected you numerous times about “palm trees in Michigan,” which is plate tectonics…why persist with this misleading statement?

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          The reason isn’t a factor here…plate tectonics changes the climate. It’s natural. What’s misleading is “adjusting” climate data to promote a middle-class job-killing political agenda:

        2. Brad says:

          LOL…your insinuation is that current change is natural?

        3. Bill Steffen says:

          Some of it is…when you go to a cold PDO, that is a demonstrable natural effect.

          Of course the NASA Full Earth IR Satellite Data (unadjusted, and including both the Arctic and Antarctic – which were conveniently left off the NCDC map) shows temperatures have been flat since 2002: Even James Hansen acknowledges the “pause”.

        4. Mike M. says:

          Current change is natural because temps are still within natural parameters. It was warmer during the Medieval, Roman, and Minoan Warm Periods. Why do you think Michael Mann was hired to get rid of the MWP and LIA? If the public knew that it was warmer in the past the great Climate Fraud would never have gained any traction.

        5. Paul says:

          Look’s like Brad wanted a palm tree for his date tonight, lol. Give them hell Bill!

  13. Steven Tameling says:

    The climate has changed, is changing and will always continue to change. The real issue here is the scare mongers that want to blame human activity and use it as an excuse to tax and control. This plan and goal is so obvious to anyone willing to take off the blinders of human arrogance.
    This has been happening since the fall of man, you can see the pattern repeated throughout history, the only thing that has changed is the tool/mechanism being used.
    I believe the key is to be good stewards of what God has given us to use and plan accordingly as the climate and our surrounding environments change and adapt.

    1. Brad says:

      It’s really silly to deny man’s role on climate and follow that with a line about the “fall of man”…

      1. Bill Steffen says:

        It’s silly to claim that “The polar icecap will be gone in five years” or “The temperature 2 kilometers down…is several million degrees”.

        Both are statements from Al Gore and both are spectacularly wrong.

        1. Brad says:

          What has Al Gore published lately? He’s irrelevant in the climate science community.

      2. Mike M. says:

        What is man’s role in the spectacular increase in Antarctic ice extent?

        1. Irish coffee says:

          Mike: man{n}’s role is all the NEGATIVE impacts associated w/ climate “change”; i.e- SUPERSTORMS, droughts, floods, low ice, rising sea-levels by the mm, record locust swarms, Ebola, etc……NATURAL climate “change” has to do w/ ALL the POSITIVES; i.e- record crop yields, increases in sea ice, low #’s tornadoes/cyclones & SUPERSTORMS + gas below $4 /gal + fixxxer not getting laid- off ;)

  14. dano (Norton Shores) says:

    Read the article, unbelievable that someone could write that with a straight face. Comments section turned off with the article, I can understand why. The author is either delusional or has his head buried in the sand.

    And where are all the “posters” that subscribe to this authors way of thinking? Some people are just too stubborn to admit that they made a mistake and wrong.

  15. norm says:

    I recently read that of 117 predictions of “dire climatic events” 114 were wrong, lol, so much for “settled science” I could easily predict the weather by doing nothing but looking outside and have more accurate results

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