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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
Six-month water level predictions illustrate Great Lakes complexity
Great Lakes Echo (11/25)
Recently released Great Lakes water level predictions have Superior, Michigan and Huron on the same page. But Erie and Ontario flow to the beat of a different drum.

Debate resumes over Lake Ontario plan
Finger Lakes Times (11/23)
The debate over a plan to regulate Lake Ontarioís water levels flare again. Rep. John Katko met with N.Y. State Department officials to express concern about the International Joint Commissionís Plan 2014.

Milder temperatures, less snow expected in Great Lakes region this winter
The Oakland Press (11/20)
Water levels in the Great Lakes should remain mostly above average over the next six months as a powerful El Nino gives the region a break after two bitterly cold winters, but itís unclear whether there will be long-term effects, federal scientists said.

El Nino expected to halt historic rise in Great Lakes
The Detroit News (11/19)
El Nino, the weather-skewing, climate-changing phenomenon that originates in the Pacific Ocean, will likely bring a historic water level rise of the Great Lakes to an end in 2016.

How ice cover on the Great Lakes impacts our weather
WLUK-TV - Green Bay, WI (11/13)
The ice cover acts like an "off" switch for the lake effect snow process and over the past years, the ice cover on the Great Lakes has also boosted lake water levels.

Research for Lake Huron water levels
Bayshore Broadcasting (10/26)
The University of Toronto is undertaking a sweeping study of water levels in the Great Lakes, and Huron County is interested in taking part.

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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 November 20, 2015 (includes data summary)

Weather conditions: Temperatures throughout the Great Lakes basin were near average at the beginning of last weekend. However, they rose during the weekend, and the vast majority of the basin experienced temperatures that were more than 10 degrees above normal on Sunday. Temperatures continued to climb during the workweek, and the average temperature on Wednesday in many cities, such as Cleveland, OH and Duluth, MN, was more than 20 degrees above average. To date, Lakes Erie and Ontario have experienced significantly below average precipitation this month. This weekend, temperatures will start out around average on Friday, and will drop through Sunday. Cities such as Chicago, IL and Kalamazoo, MI are projected to experience high temperatures on Sunday not exceeding 30 degrees. On Monday, the basin will experience moderate temperatures. Considerable precipitation in the form of snow in the northern part of the basin, rain/snow mix in the central part, and rain in the southern part, is expected on Saturday. On Sunday, snow is expected in much of the basin.

Lake Level Conditions: Lake Superior is 3 inches below its level of a year ago, while Lake Michigan-Huron is an inch above last yearís level. The level of Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are both 4 to 5 inches above what they were at this time last year. The water levels of Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are at the same level as they were a month ago, while Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 4,2, and 3 inches, respectively, lower than they were. Over the next 30 days, all lakes, with the exception of Lake St. Clair are expected to continue their seasonal decline. Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are predicted to fall 3 and 2 inches, respectively, while Lakes Erie and Ontario are both forecasted to decline 2 inches. Levels will remain above their long term average levels for this time of year, although Lake Ontario appears to be approaching its average level currently. 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 October. 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 October. Likewise, the October outflow of Lake Erie into the Niagara River is projected to be above average, and Lake Ontarioís outflow into the St. Lawrence River is expected to be above average in October.

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: November 28, 2015
Selected Photos: Copyright ©John and Ann Mahan
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