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Great Lakes Levels and Hydrology
What's New | Current Levels | Weekly Levels Forecast | Related Resources
Levels & Hydrology Section: Home | Levels | Hydrology | Flows

What's New
Changing water levels on the Great Lakes
9 and 10 News Traverse City (5/20)
Their levels change all the time, and have been down significantly for the past 16 years, but the last few years, they've changed a lot, faster than anyone would've expected.

Federal agency measures lake levels from Traverse City
Traverse City Record-Eagle (5/7)
Data collected in Lake Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay near Traverse City, Mich., could contribute to future engineering and dredging guidelines as dictated by lake levels.

Great Lakes water levels: One lake to be almost 1 foot higher this summer
MLive (4/28)
The Great Lakes water levels forecasts show mixed expectations for this summer. One lake is expected to be much higher than last summer, while the other Great Lakes should be lower than last summer.

Lake Michigan reaches highest level since 1998
The Journal Times (4/22)
Lake Michiganís water level has officially rebounded from its historic low of 576 feet, recorded in January 2013.

Climate changes causes erosion concerns on Lake Huronís west coast
Blackburn News (4/20)
Coastal Resources Manager Geoff Peach explains that with a higher lake level, warmer temperatures, and more intense rainfall predicted for this summer, the threat of more severe erosion increases along the shoreline.

COMMENTARY: Low or high, Great Lakes water levels always blamed on global warming
Michigan Capitol Confidential (4/17)
Michigan legislators once tried restricting the sale of bottled water for fear of running out. Today, water levels are once again high and rising.

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Great Lakes Real-Time Water Level Gauging Stations

These maps were prepared in partnership with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS).

NOAA Logo - Link to NOAA Website
Coordinating Committee Logo - Link to CC Website

Lake Superior | St. Marys River | Lake Michigan | Lake Huron | St. Clair River
Lake St. Clair | Detroit River | Lake Erie | Niagara River | Lake Ontario | St. Lawrence

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Weekly Water Levels Forecast
New! Update for Friday May 15, 2015 (includes data summary)

Weather conditions: The past week started out warm, with highs reaching into the 80s over much of the basin Friday through Monday. By Tuesday, temperatures had dropped, with highs reaching only into the upper 30s in the northern portions of the basin. Record high temperatures were set in the Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario portions of the basin, and record precipitation amounts were seen in parts of Minnesota and Michigan. Storms brought total 7-day amounts of 1 to 3.5 inches of precipitation in some locations over the last week. The highest precipitation was seen in the western portion of the Superior basin and across northern Illinois, Indiana, lower Michigan, and the Finger Lakes region. The forecast calls for temperatures into the 80s and rainfall over much of the basin again this weekend, but more moderate temperatures into the workweek. Precipitation amounts of 0.5 to 1 inch are forecast over the basin over the next 7 days.

Lake Level Conditions: Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 2 and 13 inches, respectively, above what they were at this time last year. Lake St. Clair is 2 inches above its level of a year ago. Lake Erie is 2 inches below last yearís level and Lake Ontario is 13 inches below what it was at this time last year. Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, and St. Clair are each predicted to rise 3 inches during the next 30 days. Lakes Erie and Ontario are forecast to rise 2 and 5 inches over the next month, respectively. See the Daily Levels page for more water level information.

Forecasted outflows / channel conditions: Lake Superiorís outflow through the St. Maryís River is predicted to be above average for the month of May. Lake Michigan-Huronís outflow into the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clairís outflow into the Detroit River are forecasted to be above average in May. The May outflow of Lake Erie into the Niagara River is projected to be above average, but Lake Ontarioís outflow into the St. Lawrence River is expected to be below average in May.

Alerts: 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.

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Related Resources
GLIN: Agencies and Organizations, Hydrology
GLIN: Current Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Water Levels
GLIN: Environmental Research in the Great Lakes Region
GLIN: Forecasted Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Water Levels
GLIN: Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Hydrology
GLIN: Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Water Flows
GLIN: Historical Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Water Levels
GLIN: Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region

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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: May 24, 2015
Maintained by: Christine Manninen, manninen@glc.org
Selected Photos: Copyright ©John and Ann Mahan
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