Great Lakes Water Levels Update

Bill's Blog

I took the top pic. at Hoffmaster St. Park this past week – pretty thin beach there with the high water level of Lake Michigan. With the exception of Lake Ontario, the Great Lakes remain near record high August water levels.

Graph of the Water Level of Lake Superior

On the graph above (and below), the plots on the map show the current year’s daily lake levels (blue) compared with last year’s levels (black) and last year’s annual average (dark red). The monthly averages are shown as a step plot through the daily averages. Plotted in the background are the coordinated (official) averages (green), record highs (cyan), and record lows (brown) per month.

The water level of Lake Superior is unchanged in the last month and down 2″ in the last year. The lake level is 10″ higher than the August average level and 2″ below the highest August level ever set last year (in 2019).

Graph of the water level of Lake Michigan-Huron

The water level of Lake Michigan Huron went down 2″ in the last month due to a dryer weather pattern. The lakes are still 5″ higher than they were one year ago. The lakes are 33″ higher than the average August level and they are 1″ higher than the record high average August level, set in 1986.

Graph of the Water Level of Lake Erie

Lake Erie had a nice drop of 5″ in the last month and it’s now 2″ below this time last year. It’s still 24″ above the average August level, but it is also 5″ below the record level set last year (2019).

Graph of the water level of Lake Ontario

The water level of Lake Ontario dropped 6″ in the last month and it’s 17″ lower than it was one year ago. The lake is only 4″ above the August average level and is 23″ lower than the highest August level set in 1947.

Graph of the Water Level of Lake St. Clair

lake St. Clair is down 2″ in the last month and up 1″ in the last year. It’s 30″ above the August average level and 1″ lower than the August record highest average level set last year.

Soo Locks satellite map 050516_212056
Soo Locks

Pick above is the Soo Locks on the St. Mary’s River that flows from Lake Superior into Lake Huron. The rivers that connect the Great Lakes all have above average to well above average flow. The St. Mary’s River had a flow of 73,000 cfs. I think that’s the lowest flow that I’ve seen this year. The St. Clair River at Port Huron has a flow of 223,000 cubic feet per second, compared to an average flow of 189,000 cfs.

Croton Dam on the Muskegon River in Newaygo County, Michigan – pic. from Wikipedia

This is the Croton Dam on the Muskegon River in Newaygo Co. Michigan. Recent rain has caused rivers to rise. The Muskegon River here at Croton had a flow of 1,800 cfs early Saturday AM – that’s well above the average late August flow of 1,150 cfs. The Grand River in Grand Rapids has a flow of 2,460 cfs, compared to an average flow of 1,570 cfs. That’s 156% of average flow. The Kalamazoo River at Comstock has a flow of 938 cfs – average is 564 cfs. The Saginaw River at Saginaw had a flow of 5,500 cfs compared to an average flow of 1,540 cfs. The brisk southwest wind probably helped that flow number to go up. I’ll have to check when the wind shifts and dies down to see if that number comes down some. The Fox River at Appleton WI had a flow of 5,900 cfs compared to an average flow of 1,930 cfs.

GREAT LAKES NEWS: WOOD TV Rising Waters Page. How do Great Lakes Island Schools get their athletes to games? Number of fish types in Chicago waters rises from 10 to 60! The latest from Boatnerd. Thanks to Eric Treece for this amazing Lake Superior sunrise.

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