Nice pic. above from my daughter (#2) Marie. Ah, summer is over and fall is definitely here. Not only is it cooler, but it seems like clouds have been having a meet-up right over the Great Lakes. Over the last 8 days, Grand Rapids has seen just 11% of possible sunshine (average sunshine for October is 43%). Over the last 18 days (including this Sat. the 21st), Grand Rapids has received just 17% of possible sunshine.
From Oct. 5-20, Grand Rapids has picked up 3.9″ of rain, with measurable rain falling on 12 of those 16 days. Holland has had 4.86″ during those 16 day and Kalamazoo 4.52″. Today we’ll make it 13 days out of 17 with measurable rain.
Here’s a pic. I took Fri. PM of the orchard across the street from where I live. Apple harvest continues and it’s a good crop this year. It’s not impossible that Michigan could surpass New York and move into 2nd place after Washington, the leading state in apple production. Note the puddles of water. It’s been wet and muddy if you’re working outdoors.
This was the South Haven Channel Friday PM. Waves at the buoy were up to 6 feet and they were crashing over the breakwalls.
Here’s two graphs of the water temperature at the Port Sheldon buoy. We started the month with several days in the 80s inland and 70s at Lake Michigan. An onshore breeze brought warmer surface water toward the shore and you can see the water temperature approached 70 degrees.
Then the cooler air moved in, with winds shifting to offshore, blowing the warmer surface water out toward the middle of the lake. You can see in the top graph that the water temperature at the buoy dipped from 68° on the 4th to 48° on the 8th. Since then (2nd graph), the water temperatures has bounced up and down and we had a water temp. of 46.4° late Friday afternoon.
Great Lakes water levels have been dropping due to dry weather in September and early October, but have leveled off as we’ve had some rain and river levels have come up a little.
The water level of Lake Superior is down 3″ in the last month and down 2″ in the last year. It’s finally dropped down to exactly average. The level is now 15″ lower than it was in Oct. 1985.
The water level of lake Michigan/Huron (one big lake for lake level purposes) is down 2″ in the last month. It’s now unchanged since Oct. 2022. The level is 4″ above the century average level and it’s 37″ lower than the high level mark set back in 1986.
The water level of Lake Erie is down 5″ in the last month, but up 5″ in the past year. The lake is 11″ above the century average, but 26″ lower than the highest level reached in 1986.
The water level of Lake Ontario is down 8″ in the last month, but up 12″ year-to-year. The lake is 4″ above the average October level, but 20″ below the level of Oct. 1945.
The water level of Lake St. Clair is down 4″ in the last month, but 5″ higher than one year ago. It’s 4″ above the average October level, but 22″ below the level of Oct. 1986.
Here’s some river streamflow levels – in cubic feet per second with the average flow for this date in parentheses: Grand River at Grand Rapids 3,200 cfs (2,000 cfs), Kalamazoo River at Comstock 843 cfs (658 cfs), St. Joseph River at Niles 2,410 cfs (2,170 cfs), Muskegon River at Croton 1,030 cfs (1,350 cfs), Tittawabassee River at Midland 972 cfs (802 cfs) Fox River at Green Bay WI 2,070 cfs (3,090 cfs).
Since Oct. 4, we’ve had 4.25″ of rainfall in Grand Rapids (1.53″ above average) and 5.00″ of rain in Holland.
The St. Marys River at S. Ste. Marie is showing a flow of 91,000 cfs compared to an average flow of 88,800 cfs. The St. Clair River at Port Huron MI has a flow of 222,000 cfs compared to an average flow of 200,000 cfs.
Great Lakes News: The Great Lakes Museum has announced that the S.S. Keewatin, the oldest remaining Edwardian-era steamliner in the world, will move from the shipyard where it is currently being refurbished to its new home in Kingston, Ontario on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. Sturgeon coming to Cleveland. Mars technology coming to Michigan. Blood-sucking vampire lurks in Great Lakes. 128-year-old Great Lakes shipwreck found. Record-breaking Great Lakes salmon. Mussels destroying Great Lakes shipwrecks. Great Lakes waterspout record. How much plastic is in Lake Michigan. Preserving underwater ghosts. Good news for walleye fishers.
Couple quick notes: Good chance of scattered showers Saturday (Oct. 20). Most or all of Sunday (Oct. 21) will be dry. After a cool Sunday and Monday, warmer air could send temps. up to 70 on Tuesday. The mild air sticks around for midweek, then colder air (and maybe some frost) arrives for next weekend.
I’m going to put something on the blog about the weather for this winter. While the El Nino suggests a warmer-than-average winter for the Great Lakes, that’s certainly not written in stone at this point.