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.
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.
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.