Great Lakes Water Levels Update

Bill's Blog
Graph of Water Level of Lake Superior

The water levels of the Great Laskes continue to be at record or near-record highs. Lake Superior is up one inch in the last month, up 8″ in the last year and is now 13″ above the Average August level. It’s has now tied the August record high level set in 1952.

Graph of the Water Level of Lake Michigan/Huron

Lake Michigan/Huron is down 1″ i the last month, but up 15″ year-to-year. The level is 31″ higher than the average water level for August. It’s now 2″ below the August record high level set in 1986.

Graph of the Water Level of Lake Erie

The water level of Lake Erie is down 4″ in the last month, but up 13″ in the last year. The level is 31″ higher than the August average level and 5 inches higher than the previous August record level set in 1986.

Graph of the Water Level of Lake Ontario

The water level of Lake Ontario is down 8″ in the last month, but up 27″ in the last year. The level is 29″ above the August average level and 2″ higher than the previous August record high level set in 1947.

Lake St. Clair Water Level Graph

The water level of Lake St. Clair is down 4″ in the last month, up 13″ in the last year and is now 32″ above the average August level. This is a new August record high level (previously set in 1986).

Soo Locks – from city of Sault Ste. Marie

All the rivers that connect the Great Lakes have well above average flow and that will continue into 2020. The St. Clair River at Port Huron has a flow of 251,000 cubic feet per second, compared to an average flow of 194,000 cfs.

View of the Fox River in downtown Green Bay WI

We currently have a drier weather pattern in the Great Lakes and most river levels are falling. The Grand River in Grand Rapids has a flow of 1,660 cfs compared to an average flow for Aug. 10 of 1,550 cfs. The St. Joseph River at Niles MI has a flow of 2,430 cfs compared to the average of 2,000 cfs. The Muskegon River at Croton MI has a flow of 1,310 cfs compared to an average flow of 1,110 cfs. The Kalamazoo River at Comstock MI has a flow of 746 cfs compared to an average of 555 cfs.

The Fox River at Green Bay, Wisconsin has a flow of 4,300 cfs – more than double the average flow of 2,170 cfs. Green Bay had 4.04″ of rain in the first 9 days of August. The average rainfall for those 9 days is 1.01″.

Great Lakes News: It’s been a wet year in the Great Lakes. Follow ships on the Great Lakes. Great Lakes Ghostly Beacons. Lake Michigan has highest number of Great Lakes drownings. Asian carp update. Bright orange glow in Great Lakes rocks. Waterspout over Lake Erie. Algal bloom in Lake Erie. Swimming the Straits of Mackinac. Muskies on the move. In 2012, low water levels on the Great Lakes were blamed on “climate change“. PFAS update. Looking for shipwrecks. Bath tub trip across Lake Michigan. Cruise ship passengers flocking to Great Lakes. Tall ship festival. Great Lakes Surf Festival coming Aug. 17. Wind turbines “deadly” to U.S. security. Century-old shipwreck discovered. The Great Black Swamp. Dangers of high Great Lakes water levels. 75% of Great Lakes beaches were potentially unsafe last year (“potentially?”).

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