The graph above shows Lake Michigan water temperature. As you can see, the lake temp. has been remarkably close to average this year. Since June 1, the average temperature has been about 0.4° warmer than normal – or very close to average. Here’s a link to the most recent Lake Michigan water temperatures. This is usually updated in the late morning. Here’s Friday’s water temps: 68° Muskegon and Pentwater, 69° Ludington, 70° Grand Haven, 71° Holland St. Park, 72° Saugatuck, 73° S. Haven buoy.

Graphic showing upwelling of cold water from below the surface with an east wind on Lake Michigan

The general wind this Saturday will be east-northeast and we’ll have to watch for upwelling. This occurs in West Michigan when the wind turns to the east (north-northeast to southeast). The wind blows the warmer surface water out toward the middle of the lake. Cold water from below will rise to the surface. Past upwelling events have dropped the nearshore water temperature from the low 70s down into the 40s.

UPDATE: There was some upwelling over the weekend at Lake Michigan. Sunday AM, the water temp. had dropped to 61 at Grand Haven and just 55 at Saugatuck. The winds turned southwest Sunday afternoon, bring warmer water back toward shore.

Lake Michigan

The Great Lakes continue to have above average water levels for the month of July, but the levels are down significantly from several years ago.

Graph of the Water Level of Lake Superior

The water level of Lake Superior is up 3″ in the last month and up 2″ in the last year. Since Jan. 1, Marquette has had 128% of average precipitation and S. Ste. Marie has picked up 132% of average precipitation. Duluth MN has had 115% of average precipitation since 1/1. Lake Superior is now 4″ higher than the July average level, but 9″ below the highest level recorded in 2019.

Graph of the Water Level of Lake Michigan/Huron

This is a graph of the water level of Lake Michigan/Huron. These two lakes are essentially one giant lake. They are connected at the Straits of Mackinac and have the same water level. If you were to count Lake Michigan and Lake Huron as one lake, it would be the biggest lake in the world.

The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron is unchanged in the last month, but down 7″ in the last year. The lake is still 9″ above the July average level, but 25″ lower than July 2020. It’s 41″ above the lowest July level, that was reached in 1964. By the way, it’s quite normal for there to be a difference of 5 or 6 feet from the highest level to the lowest level over a period of 50 or 60 years. We have a good record of Great Lakes water levels going back to 1918 and spotty records going all the way back to when Native Americans traveled by boat and canoe over the Great Lakes waters.

Graph of the water level of Lake Erie.

Lake Erie is usually the warmest Great Lake in the summer, but it’s also the lake that often gets the most ice cover in the winter. That’s because it’s the shallowest of the Great Lake and the one with the lowest volume of water.

The water level of Lake Erie is down 2″ in the last month and down 4″ in the last year. It’s still 11″ above the July average level but down 19″ from the highest water level for July. That was reached in 2019. It’s 47″ higher than the lowest July level, which occurred in 1934.

Graph of the Water Level of Lake Ontario

Here’s a graph of the water level of Lake Ontario. The lake is down 6″ in the last month, but up 10″ in the last year. The lake is right at the July average level and is now 31″ below the high water level of July 2019. It’s also 42″ above the lowest July level set in 1934.

Graph of the Water Level of Lake St. Clair

The graph of the water level of Lake St. Clair also shows a fairly steady decline over the past 3 years. The level is unchanged in the last month and down 6″ in the last year. The level is down 19″ from July 2019 and is now 13″ above the July average level. The lake is 42″ above the lowest July level reached in 1934.

Satellite view of the St. Marys River

The rivers that connect the Great Lakes and the mouths of rivers that run into the Great Lakes can have variable water levels. A strong northwest wind can “push” water down the St. Marys River from Lake Superior into Lake Michigan/Huron. A strong southeast wind can push Lake Superior water away from the St. Marys River. So the flow on the rivers can change rather quickly.

That said the flow on the St. Marys River early Sat. AM was 82,700 cubic feet per second. The average flow for July 9 is 95,100 cfs. The flow on the St. Clair River at Port Huron/Sarnia was 229,000 cfs, compared to an average flow of 203,000. The wind at the time was very light.

Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids Sunday evening 7/10/22

There has been heavier rainfall over the past month south of Kent County and less to the north. That is reflected in river flow. The Grand River in Grand Rapids has a flow (Sunday evening 7/10) of 1,760 cubic feet per second. The average flow for today is 2,010 cfs. The Muskegon River at Croton has a flow of 1,020 cfs, compared to an average flow of 1,440 cfs. The Kalamazoo River at Comstock has a flow of 874 cfs. The average is 692 cfs. The St. Joseph River at Niles has a flow of 4,970 cfs compared to an average flow of 2,500 cfs.

On the eastern side of the state, the Tittawabassee River at Midland has a flow of 533 cfs…average is 633 cfs. In Wisconsin, the Fox River at Appleton has a flow of 2,900 cfs. The average flow is 3,970 cfs.

ALSO: Lake Michigan summer beach guide, Weekly beach and boating guide (updated Thu. evening)…Current radar and satellite. “Confetti fields” – beautiful color in Worchestershire.

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