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Great Lakes Levels and Hydrology
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Levels & Hydrology Section: Home | Levels | Hydrology | Flows

What's New
‘Significant’ erosion due to lake surge
The Journal Times (8/24)
Some lakefront property owners in Racine County, Wis., are dealing with erosion problems as a result of the highest Lake Michigan water levels in years.

COMMENTARY: Waukesha’s only reasonable option: Lake Michigan
Green Bay Press Gazette (8/18)
Green Bay, Wis., and the Great Lakes will not be harmed by Waukesha’s proposal to switch from groundwater to Lake Michigan water and in fact, Waukesha will provide environmental benefits.

Lake Superior stays above average
Duluth News Tribune (8/4)
The water level of Lake Superior rose by less than usual in July but the big lake still sits seven inches above the long-term average for Aug. 1, and an inch higher than at this time last year.

Rising Lake Erie damages property, swallows beaches
Buffalo News (7/27)
Its depth ballooned in June and July because of as much as 400 percent more rainfall in some areas of the Great Lakes watershed this spring and summer.

Lake Michigan water levels rapidly rise after record lows
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (7/23)
Water levels on Lake Michigan have undergone a remarkably quick transformation and are now more than 3 feet higher than January 2013 when they hit an all-time low.

Beaches losing ground as lake levels rise
The Sheboygan Press (7/22)
Tourists returning to Sheboygan, Wisc. this year have noticed something a little unusual about the lakefront: the beaches seem to be shrinking.

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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 August 28, 2015 (includes data summary)

Weather conditions: The past 7 days were a break from the heat of the previous week, with below normal temperatures over much of the basin, except the Lake Ontario basin where temperatures ranged from 2°F below to 4°F above normal. Precipitation amounts ranged from about 0.75 inches below normal over much of the Lake Michigan basin to up to 1.5 inches above normal over the Lake Superior basin and parts of the Lake Huron, Erie, and Ontario basins. Runoff over the last 7 days has been within the normal to above normal range for this time of year. Warmer temperatures are expected to return over the weekend, with highs reaching the upper 80s in the southern portion of the basin by Tuesday and continuing into Wednesday. The 7-day precipitation forecast calls for total rainfall amounts of over an inch in southwest Wisconsin and parts of southern Michigan on Friday and Saturday, but lower amounts across the rest of the basin and little precipitation for the remainder of the week.

Lake Level Conditions: A brief rise on Lake Superior over the last 3 days interrupted its normal seasonal decline, and as a result, the forecast shows Lake Superior starting at 602.69 ft, one inch above its level of 30 days ago. All other lakes are at lower levels than this time last month. All lakes are above their levels of one year ago. Lake Superior is 1 inch above last year’s level, Lake Michigan-Huron is 9 inches above last year’s level, Lake Erie is 8 inches above, and Lakes St. Clair and Ontario are both 6 inches above last year’s levels. Over the next 30 days, Lakes Superior is projected to fall 1 inch and Lake Michigan-Huron is expected to fall 2 inches in the same period. Water levels in Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are predicted to drop 3, 5, and 8 inches, respectively. See the Daily Levels page for more water level information.

Forecasted outflows / channel conditions: Lake Superior’s outflow through the St. Mary’s River is predicted to be above average for the month of August. Lake Michigan-Huron’s outflow into the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair’s outflow into the Detroit River are forecasted to be near average in August. The August outflow of Lake Erie into the Niagara River is projected to be above average, and Lake Ontario’s outflow into the St. Lawrence River is expected to be above average in August.

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: September 5, 2015
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