Great Lakes Update

Bill's Blog

The top picture is from the pier at Michigan City, Indiana taken at sunset on Sat. May 29. Look at the pic. full screen or close up and you can see the city of Chicago in the center of the pic. just above the water. Chicago is approx. 40 miles away.

Chicago 6:10 pm CDT Sat. 5/28

This is downtown Chicago at 6:10 pm Sat. 5/28. On the left side of the picture, there’s something in the air. It isn’t there in the pic. taken 10 min. before or 10 min. after. At first I thought it might be a plane pulling a banner of some kind…probably just a glitch.

South Haven pier (breakwall or breakwater) Sat. PM 5/29

This pic. is looking east from the South Haven Lighthouse down the Black River Channel. The ship in the channel is the Friends Good Will from the Maritime Museum. Note no one’s in the water. The strong east wind blew the surface water out toward the middle of the lake and brought up colder water from below. The water temp. at the S. Haven buoy dropped from 61° to 44°. The water temp. at the Muskegon Beach was 50° and the water temp. of inland Reeds Lake fell from a high of 71° last week to 62 early Sun. AM.

Thunder Bay Island Lighthouse

Here’s the Thunder Bay Lighthouse Saturday. The high temp. here Sat. was 52°.

May Rainfall in West Michigan

Here’s rainfall for the month of May. Average rainfall is around 3 1/2″. Most of West Michigan had below average rainfall…with Kalamazoo and Battle Creek at the bottom of the heap. To the north, Reed City had above average rainfall.

Great Lakes Water Levels

Here’s a record of Great Lakes water levels since 1918. The levels go up and down and we have to expect that variation. It’s what nature does. Check out the pictures of Lake Michigan beaches this late May compared to last summer – we have noticeably more beach this summer!

The water level of Lake Superior is up 1″ in the last month, but down 6″ in the last year. The lake is now 6″ higher than the average late May level. The level is 9″ below the highest level recorded in 2019 (two years ago).

The level of Lake Michigan/Huron is also up 1″ in the last month…but…the level is down an incredible 18″ in the last year. That’s a drop of 7 trillion gallons in Lake Michigan and 7.2 trillion gallons in Lake Huron! The lake is still 18″ above the May average level.

The level of Lake Erie is up 2″ in the last month, but down 17″ in the last year The lake is 14″ above the average May level

Lake Ontario’s water level is 2″ higher than last month…but…24″ below the level of one year ago. The lake is now 12″ BELOW the average May level an 43″ below the level of May 2017.

Lake St. Clair is up 2″ in the last month, but down 17″ year-to-year. The lake is still 17″ higher than the May average level.

River flow early Sun. AM (5/30): The Grand River at Grand Rapids had a flow of 2,250 cubic feet per second, compared to an average flow of 3, 670 cfs (61% of average flow). The Kalamazoo River at Comstock had a flow of 547 cfs, compared to an average flow of 893 cfs (also 61% of average flow). The St. Joseph River at Niles had a flow of 2,330 cfs, compared to an average flow of 3,550 cfs. The Muskegon River basin had more rain lately. The flow at Croton was 2,070 cfs, compared to an average flow of 2,330 cfs (89% of average flow).

Check out the WOOD Lake Michigan Summer Guide and the Beach and Boating Forecast.

GREAT LAKES NEWS: Stay away from foam. 1800’s shipwreck discovered. Great Lakes steel production up this year. Asian carp update. Algae bloom expected to be smaller this year. Dumping plastic bottles into the lake. Eliminating dam lets salmon swim upstream. Emergency dredging.

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