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Related Resources

Fast Weather Forecast
The Weather Underground
Enter a city, state, zip code or station code for the current National Weather Service forecast
Examples: "Albany", "NY", "Albany, NY", "12233", or "ALB"

What's New
Green infrastructure: what is it?
Green infrastructure — natural and nature-based engineered systems that mimic natural processes — can be used to make communities better prepared and more resilient to extreme weather and coastal hazards that are becoming more frequent with climate change.

El Niño has dramatic effect on Great Lakes ice cover
MLive (9/1)
This coming winter's ice cover on the Great Lakes may be a lot different from the past two years because of a strong El Niño that is expected to last into winter.

COMMENTARY: Breaking the ice
Michigan Radio (8/12)
The U.S. Coast Guard has eight small ships that can be used as icebreakers in normal times and there’s only one heavy Coast Guard icebreaker that can deal with winters like the last two: the nine-year-old Mackinaw. At least one new heavy icebreaker is needed.

Why Lake Michigan beach temps plunged to 40s in recent days
MLive (8/12)
The water temperature can change quickly on the Great Lakes, and water at some beaches along the west shore of Lower Michigan has done just that.

The Genesee, recently raging, is now a trickle
Democrat & Chronicle (7/30)
It’s feast to famine for the Genesee River, which two weeks ago raged through downtown Rochester, N.Y. and today is barely a trickle.Lack of rain is one reason, and deliberate draining of the section between Court Street and the High Falls is another.

Catfish floundering in yards after heavy rains
MLive (6/26)
When a deluge of rain led to the overflow of a pond in Allegan County, Michigan, hundreds of large bullheads swam into neighboring yards and found themselves stranded there in receding waters with no way to return to the pond.

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"Wait a day and the weather will change" is an apt description of weather in the Great Lakes region, especially in the spring and fall. That's because the region is affected by both warm, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico and cold, dry air from the Arctic. In general, the north experiences cooler weather, while the south has warmer temperatures. The entire basin experiences four distinct seasons.
The Great Lakes also have a big influence on the climate. Acting as a giant heat sink, the lakes moderate the temperatures of the surrounding land, cooling the summers and warming the winters. This results in a milder climate in portions of the basin compared to other locations of similar latitude. The lakes also act as a giant humidifier, increasing the moisture content of the air throughout the year. In the winter, this moisture condenses as snow when it reaches the land, creating heavy snowfall in some areas, known as "snow belts" on the downwind shores of the lakes. The shores of Lake Superior are prone to this "lake effect" snow and have recorded up to 350 inches of snow in a single year. During the winter, the temperature of the lakes continues to drop. Ice frequently covers Lake Erie but seldom fully covers the other lakes.
References: Great Lakes Atlas, Environment Canada and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1995

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Comprehensive Resources
Climate and Water
Environment Canada's Freshwater Web
Discusses climate change and the potential effects on the world's water resources.

Interactive Weather Information Network
NOAA, National Weather Service
Local weather, severe weather warnings, and videos.

MSU Agricultural Weather Office
Michigan State Univeristy, Agricultural Weather Office
Provides featured articles such as growing season reports, forecast products, and current weather information.

The Daily Planet
University of Illinois, Department of Atmospheric Sciences
In addition to weather images and MPEG animations, there are links to online electronic textbook and a number of other locally developed resources, including Weather World.

The Weather Channel
Breaking weather, current conditions and forecasts.

University of Michigan
Provides access to dozens of weather products including conditions, forecasts, warnings, radar, climate information, and satellite photos.

Weather Information Home Page
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Detroit District
Provides current and previous month's precipitation, hydrographs of Great Lakes precipitation, and summaries of monthly and year-to-date precipitation.

Weather World 2010 Project
University of Illinois
A WWW framework for integrating current and archived weather data with multimedia instructional resources using new and innovative technologies.

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Current Conditions
Real-time weather data
Research Applications Program, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Features include an interactive mapper for viewing temperatures, visibility, skycover, wind direction and more. You also can view current images of snow cover and depth, courtesy of NOAA and the U.S. Air Force.

USA - Great Lakes
Interactive Flash weather map serving near real-time conditions and forecasts for Great Lakes and surrounding region.

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Weather: University Departments in the Great Lakes Region

WW2010 Online Guides
University of Illinois
Instructional resources that present such topics as meteorology, climate, remote sensing and global change not as individual sciences, but as integral components of a much larger system.

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Forecasts and Observations
National Weather Service

National Weather Service

National Weather Service

National Weather Service

New York
National Weather Service

National Weather Service

Meteorological Service of Canada

National Weather Service

Meteorological Service of Canada

National Weather Service

Canadian Provincial Weather Forecasts
Environment Canada
Current conditions and local forecasts for the Canadian provinces.

Current Climate Situation in the Midwest
Illinois State Water Survey, Midwestern Climate Center
Maps of precipitation, temperature and snowfall for previous 7 and 30 days.

Forecast Data Sets
NOAA, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
Data sets are now available for Lake Erie and Ontario

Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting System
NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
Provides maps depicting current and 6- or 24-hour forecasted conditions for several variables, including wind, wave height water surface and temperature.

Real-time Meteorological Observation Network for Lake Michigan
NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
Quick links to current webcam views, wind speeds and air temperatures for Milwaukee and Kenosha, Wis.; Chicago, Ill.; and Muskegon and Saugatuck, Mich.

Weather Michigan
Originally developed for emergency managers and storm spotters, this site has evolved into a dependable one-stop source for anyone seeking extensive coverage of Michigan's ever-changing weather.

Weather Underground
University of Michigan
Provides weather imagery, current conditions and forecasts.

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Historical Conditions
GLIN: Compare snow melt (snow water equivalent) for the upper Great Lakes basin: 1997-2000
From the summer of 1997 to today, water levels on the middle Great Lakes have fallen from near record highs to near record lows. This decline is nearly 3.5 feet on lakes Michigan, Huron, St. Clair and Erie. This trend is forecasted to continue for the foreseeable future due in part to the fact that the drainage basins for lakes Superior and northern Michigan and Huron (the headwaters for the Great Lakes) have had one of the driest winters on record. Snowmelt runoff is a key component in replenishing groundwater and tributary stream flows into the Great Lakes.

Central NY Weather History
Tom Hauf, WTVH Meteorologist
Features National Weather Service records from 1902 to present, with a month-by-month summary of significant weather that has affected the eastern Lake Ontario region.

Climate Summaries for the Midwest
Illinois State Water Survey, Midwestern Climate Center
Averages and extremes of temperature, precipitation, degree days and growing season for stations throughout the Midwest.

Great Lakes States Monthly Precipitation Data
NOAA, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
Monthly precipitation data by station for each state, beginning of record to 1990. Zipped files via FTP.

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Great Lakes Data
NOAA, National Ice Center
Provides 30- and 90-day ice forecasts based on AVHRR data, OLS data, ship reports and U.S. Coast Guard shore reports.

Great Lakes Surface Environmental Analysis
NOAA, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
Digital map of the Great Lakes surface water temperature and ice cover produced daily through the NOAA CoastWatch program.

Lake Ice Data
NOAA, National Snow and Ice Data Center
Provides historical data, mainly on microfilm, on the following topics: aerial photos of ice conditions, daily ice observations at NOAA water level gauge sites, ice charts and surface ice reports from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Remote Sensing of Great Lakes Snow and Ice
Michigan Technological University
Includes time series of AVHRR images, passive microwave movie, images of Great Lakes ice, photos of Lake Superior ice, including ice volcanoes of Lake Superior's shore.

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Storms and Winds
Storm Probability Tables
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Detroit District
These monthly tables show possible storm-induced water level rises (in feet) at key locations on the Great Lakes.

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Related Resources
GLIN: Agencies and Organizations, Weather
GLIN: Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region
GLIN: Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Hydrology
GLIN: Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Water Flows
GLIN: Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Water Levels

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CC Data This page was created under the guidance of the binational Coordinating Committee on Great Lakes Basic Hydraulic and Hydrologic Data. This symbol is used throughout the GLIN hydrology section to indicate data or references prepared under the auspices of the Coordinating Committee.


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Updated: October 9, 2015
Selected Photos: Copyright ©John and Ann Mahan
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