Lake-level plan lacks top-level endorsements Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (2/19) Lake Ontario may be nearly frozen over, but fevers still run high along the shoreline as folks continue to debate the merit of changing the way the lake's water levels are regulated.
Great Lakes water levels update (2/6) The 2014 Annual Summary of Great Lakes water levels is now available from the Detroit District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Included are analyses of Great Lakes water levels and the meteorological and hydrologic conditions that led to another year of substantially higher water levels in 2014.
The Great Lakes Basin saw the warm temperatures during last weekend give way to well below normal temperatures during the early part of the work week with several places 10 to 15 degrees below normal. A large storm system dropped significant amounts of snow over lower potions of the basin in southern Wisconsin and Michigan, and along Lake Erieís southern shore. Temperatures in the coming week are expected to moderate towards normal with the exception of the northeast part of the basin, including Sault Ste. Marie, MI, Buffalo, NY, and Toronto, ON which will remain below normal. The basin will see above average precipitation along a line stretching from Duluth, MN to Buffalo, NY that is about 150 miles wide. The remainder of the basin is expected to see average amounts of precipitation over the next week.
Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 10 and 22 inches, respectively, above their levels of a year ago. Lakes St. Clair and Erie are 18 and 7 inches, respectively, above what they were at this time last year, while Lake Ontario is 4 inches below its level of a year ago. Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are predicted to fall 3 and 1 inches, respectively, over the next 30 days. In addition, Lake St. Clair is projected to remain at its current level during the next month, while Lakes Erie and Ontario are expected to rise 1 and 2 inches, respectively. Ice building in the connecting channels can cause significant water level fluctuations, especially in Lake St. Clair.
See the Great Lakes Water Levels web page for more water level information.
Lake Level Conditions:
Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 9 and 21 inches, respectively, above their levels of a year ago. Lakes St. Clair and Erie are 6 and 5 inches, respectively, above what they were at this time last year. Lake Ontario is 4 inches below its level of a year ago. Lakes Superior is predicted to fall 2 inches in the next month and Michigan-Huron is predicted remain constant. Lake St. Clair is projected to rise 15 inches during the next month, Lakes Erie is expected to rise by 4 inches, and Lake Ontario is expected to remain constant. Ice continues to build in the connecting channels, especially the St. Clair River. This build up of ice has restricted flow in the river and has caused the level of Lake St. Clair to recede. Water levels and flows may fluctuate significantly while ice is present. See the Daily Levels page for more water level information.
Forecasted outflows / channel conditions:
Lake Superiorís outflow through the St. Maryís River is forecasted to be above average for the month of February. Lake Michigan-Huronís outflow into the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clairís outflow into the Detroit River are projected to be above average in February. In addition, the outflow of Lake Erie into the Niagara River and Lake Ontarioís outflow into the St. Lawrence River are predicted to be above average in February.
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.