Great Lakes Water Levels Continue to Rise

Bill's Blog
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Great Lakes water levels continue to rise. High water will be a continuing problem well into 2020.

Graph of Lake Superior Water Level

Lake Superior’s water level is up 2″ in the last month, up 11″ in the last year (that’s over 6 TRILLION gallons of added water). The lake is 16″ higher than the June average and 4″ higher than it has ever been in June. It’s close to the all-time record, set in October of 1986.

Graph of the Water Level of Lake Michigan/Huron

The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron is up 5″ in the last month, up 15″ in the last year and is now 33″ above the average June level. It’s 2″ higher than the previous June record. It’s still lower than the all-time record high level set in October 1986. Lake Michigan/Huron is expected to rise another inch in the next month.

Graph of Lake Erie Water Level

The water level of Lake Erie is up 4″ in the last month, up 12″ year-to-year and is now 6″ higher than the previous June record high level. This is also the highest water level ever recorded on the lake.

Graph of the water level of Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario is up 1″ in the last month. It’s up 28″ in the last year (Lake Ontario fluctuates the most over a relatively short period of time (months, few years). The lake is also 33″ higher than the June average water level, and higher than the previous record highest level set just a couple years ago in 2017.

Graph of the Water Level of Lake St. Clair

The water level of Lake St. Clair is up 4″ in the last month, up 10″ in the last year and is now at the all-time record level. The lake is 33″ above the June average level and 4″ above the previous June record high level.

All the rivers that connect the Great Lakes have well above average flow and that will continue well into 2020 and probably beyond. The flow of water today down the St. Clair River is 253,000 cubic feet per second. The average flow for late June is 184,000 cfs.

Most river in the Great Lakes Region have well above average flow. As of 1 pm on Fri. 6/28, the Grand River at Grand Rapids has a flow of 11,000 cfs compared to an average flow of 2,600 cfs. The Kalamazoo River at Comstock has a flow of 2,170 cfs compared to an average of 741 cfs. The Thornapple River is at 1,150 cfs compared to an average 184 cfs. The Saginaw River at Saginaw is at 4,610 cfs…average flow is 3,270 cfs. The Fox River at Green Bay is flowing at 10,500 cfs compared to an average flow of 3,920 cfs.

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