A reader of the blog noted that it’s been awhile since I wrote about Great Lakes water levels. He was right, so here’s an update. BTW the pic. above was taken by Larry Hall during Saturday’s high wind event. The height of the lighthouse is 36 feet and the wave is well above that. We had Storm Warnings for Lake Michigan. That’s one step above Gale Warnings and one step below Hurricane Warnings. There was a peak gust of 74 mph at the St. Joseph Pier and a gust to 73 mph at the Chicago Water Intake (Harrison-Dever Crib).
The water level of Lake Superior is down 2″ in the last month, but up 6″ from one year ago. The lake is 4″ above the November average level. It’s 13″ below the long-term monthly average for November and 22″ above the monthly average.
The water level of Lake St. Clair is down 6″ in the last month and down 14″ in the last year (a significant drop). The lake is still 11″ above the November average level. It’s 24″ below the highest November water level in 1986 and 41″ above the lowest level reached in November 1934.
The water level of Lake Erie is down 4″ in the last month and down a whopping 17″ year-to-year. The lake remains 10″ above the November average, but 22″ below the high November reading reached in 1986. It’s 43″ above the lowest level for November. That was in 1934.
The water level of Lake Ontario is down 2″ in the last month and down 18″ in the last year. The lake is 7″ below (yes, below) the November average and 31″ below the highest November level in 1945. The lake is 25″ above the lowest level reached in 1934.
The water levels of all the rivers connecting the Great Lakes remain above average with the exception of the water emptying out of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River. That makes sense since all the Great Lakes with the exception of Lake Ontario have above average water levels.
The St. Marys River at Sault Ste. Marie has a flow of 86,000 cfs. The average flow in November is 70,200 cfs. The Detroit River at Detroit has a flow of 224,000 cfs, just a little above the average flow of 214,000 cfs.
In West Michigan, there was been more rainfall north than south and that is reflected in the flow on the rivers. The St. Joseph River at Niles has a flow of 1,660 cfs, compared to an average of 2,380 cfs. The Kalamazoo River at Comstock has a flow of 683 cfs – average is 765 cfs. Moving north, the Grand River at Grand Rapids is right about average. The flow is 2,360 cfs and the average is 2,350 cfs. The Muskegon River at Croton is above average flow at 2,600 cfs – average is 1,930 cfs.
Above is the total rainfall forecast over the next week from the Weather Prediction Center. Lots of precipitation is forecast over the Lake Superior basin. Most of that will be rain, some will be snow. You can see the rain that the tropical storm/hurricane is going to bring to Florida Wednesday into late Thursday and then up the East Coast. Also, look at the rain that’s going to fall in California. Los Angeles may get a month’s worth of rain in a day (that can happen in the Desert Southwest.