Lake Michigan bucks forecast, rises another inch

Rising Waters

Record high water levels at Tunnel Park in Park Township, Mich. from Drone 8. (July 15, 2020)

DETROIT (WOOD) — This is the time of year when water levels on Lake Michigan are supposed to go down. Someone forgot to tell the big lake.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ weekly report released Friday shows Lake Michigan went up an inch over the past week. It is now 3 inches above the all-time record for the month of July.

Why the reversal?

“Over the last week the Great Lakes region received substantial precipitation,” the Army Corps report said. “Most of the basin received between 0.25 to 2 inches; however, large portions of the basin received from 2 to 6 inches.”

After levels dropped earlier this month, the lake is back even with levels from late June.

Lake Michigan is up 4 inches from this time last year and is 34 inches higher than the long-term average for July. For the seventh straight month, Lake Michigan is sure to break the high water record level.

Still, forecasters are doubling down, predicting changes on the horizon. The new Army Corps report expects the lake to go down 2 inches over the next month.

If Lake Michigan continues to defy forecasters, it has a chance to set the highest level ever recorded on Lake Michigan. Right now, the lake is 1.5 inches below the record set in October 1986.

Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, which are treated as one lake by the Army Corps, is the only Great Lake currently in record territory:

Lake Superior

  • Up 2 inches in the past month.
  • 3 inches below the July record (set in 2019).

Lake Erie

  • Down 1 inch in the past month.
  • 4 inches below the July record (set in 2019).

Lake Ontario

  • Down 3 inches in the past month.
  • 25 inches below the July record (set in 2019).

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