What's New DRAIN (7/16) The Superior Watershed Partnership partnered with an independent film company to bring attention to Great Lakes water quantity and quality issues. DRAIN is a feature length documentary currently being filmed that searches for the cause of historically low Great Lakes water levels. Visit the launch page or find the film on facebook.
Binational Great Lakes Quarterly Climate Impact Report (7/14) Spring 2014 for the Great Lakes region was the 5th coldest since 1948. What could this mean for the summer forecast? For a binational overview of the latest season's weather, water level conditions, and related impacts, plus an outlook for the upcoming quarter, review the Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlook: Great Lakes Region via the U.S. Drought Portal.
EDITORIAL: Lake Ontario plan would hurt Orleans The Daily News (7/14) A plan to return Lake Ontario to “more natural” levels stems from good intentions but fails to address unintended consequences that would hurt Orleans and other south shore counties.
Rainy spring, cold winter help buoy Great Lakes levels Journal Sentinel (7/14) After 16 years of bottom-scraping and dredging, boaters on the Great Lakes are experiencing something different this summer: deep water which is a result of water levels hitting above average for the first time since 1998.
Lake Michigan water level on rise after years of decline Chicago Tribune (7/7) Although Lake Michigan and Lake Huron water levels are not projected to hit any record highs in the coming months, scientists predict that they could approach or exceed their historical long-term averages for the first time in more than a decade.
The wet summer has continued into July with nearly one inch of rain falling across the entire Great Lakes basin this past week. Seasonally average temperatures accompanied the moisture. The weather roller coaster is expected to continue through the weekend as rain is anticipated across the entire basin. Temperatures are forecasted to remain near their seasonal normal through the weekend and to start the new week. There remains a chance for precipitation as the new week continues.
Water Level Conditions:
Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 13 and 14 inches, respectively, above their levels of a year ago. Lakes St. Clair and Erie are 4 and 3 inches, respectively, above what they were at this time last year, while Lake Ontario is 2 inches below its level of a year ago. Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are both expected to rise an inch over the next month. Lake St. Clair is predicted to drop 2 inches from its current level over the next thirty days, while Lakes Erie and Ontario are projected to fall 3 and 6 inches, respectively.
See the Great Lakes Water Levels web page for more water level information.
Forecasted outflows / channel conditions:
Lake Superior’s outflow through the St. Mary’s River is forecasted to be above average for the month of July. Lake Michigan-Huron’s outflow into the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair’s outflow into the Detroit River is predicted to be near average in July. In addition, the outflow of Lake Erie into the Niagara River and Lake Ontario’s outflow into the St. Lawrence River are projected to be above average in July.
Official records are based on monthly average water levels and not daily water levels. Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels. Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.
Ice information can be found at the National Ice Center's webpage.