Lake Michigan 5 inches above January record

Rising Waters
lakeshore erosion

A view from a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter shows erosion along Lake Michigan in the Oceana-Mason county area. (Courtesy U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga’s Office)

DETROIT (WOOD) — Lake Michigan’s unseasonable rise continues, sending the lake toward a January record.

New data released Friday shows Lake Michigan rose 2 inches in the past week and is now 5 inches above the all-time January record set in 1987. Monthly water level records are calculated by taking the average lake level over an entire month, so the record won’t become official until the month ends.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers weekly forecast shows that Lake Michigan has risen 3 inches in the past month, a time of year when the lake normally sees its largest drop. The forecast continues to estimate the lake will drop 1 inch over the next month.

Lake Michigan is now 20 inches higher than it was one year ago. The recent rise has been dramatic, climbing 5 feet 8 inches since the record low level was set in January 2013.

All of the Great Lakes are near January records right now. Lake Superior is even with the January record set in 1986. Lake Erie is 2 inches below the January record set in 1987. Lake Ontario is 3 inches below the January record set in 1946. Since they are connected, Lake Michigan and Huron are treated as the same lake by Army Corps.

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