Great Lakes water levels and news

Bill's Blog
Isle Royale National Park Ranger III - 60 years_1534732263799.jpg.jpg

The above picture is the RANGER III, celebrating 60 years of service ferrying passengers from Houghton MI to Isle Royale National Park.  The ferry is 165 feet long and can hold 128 passengers.  There’s a contest going on – Isle Royale N.P. would like to see your picture of the Ranger III.  Check out this link to find out how you can be a winner. 

This is our GVSU skycam in downtown G.R.  You can see the S-Curve and the Grand River.  The river is showing sandbars and a rather low water level.  But the river usually at it’s lowest flow in late summer.  Tonight, the river is at 90% of average flow.

We’ve had a bit of a drought going on in parts of Michigan and people have asked why that hasn’t lowered the level of Lake Michigan more than it has.  First, we are still getting an above average flow of water down the St. Mary’s River from Lake Superior.  Second, while some areas have had a dry summer (difference from average rainfall since June 1:  Grand Rapids -3.07″, Holland -2.87″, Battle Creek -2.49″), other areas have had above average rainfall since June 1 (Kalamazoo +0.54″, Flint +1.09″, S. Bend +1.41″, Chicago (O’Hare) +2.23″ and Marquette +3.56″). 

The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron is down 1″ in the last month, down 2″ in the last year.  However, the level is still 15″ above the average August level.  Lake Superior is unchanged in the last month, down 5″ in the last year.  Superior is still 5″ above the average water level.  Lake Erie is down 3″ in the last month, up 1″ in the last year.  Lake Erie is still 19″ above the average August water level.  Lake Ontario is down 6″ in the last month, down 20″ in the last year, but still 1″ above the average August level.  Lake St. Clair is down 3″ in the last month, down 1″ in the last year and stands 19″ above the average August water level. 

Here’s Lake Michigan water temps. for the past 6 years.  We are currently 2nd warmest behind 2016 for average water temp. for the date. 

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