Great Lakes Water Levels

Great Lakes Water Level News – After 19 Months, Are We Back To Normal?

Great Lakes water level news has been the subject of many headlines this past month, with each narrative shedding a slightly different light on the situation. The fluctuations, the forecasts, and the future scenarios have all made waves in the news. Here’s a dive into the most recent discussions on the matter.

A Rare Respite Amidst The Fall

An artist view of the Great Lakes Shoreline - Great Lakes Water Level news
An artist’s view of the Great Lakes Shoreline

Published on October 17, 2023, a report from MLive brought attention to the fact that Great Lakes water levels are starting to fall, marking a rare normal moment in what has otherwise been a period of notable instability. The imagery of a tranquil lake surface, however, doesn’t reveal the whole story. The fall in water levels might evoke a sigh of relief from some waterfront property owners, but it also triggers a cascade of ecological and economic implications. The shift in levels isn’t merely a statistic; it’s a subtle nod to the changing narrative of our natural resources.

Forecasting The Fluid Future

US Army Corps of Engineers

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in its October 2023 bulletin, provided a six-month forecast of the Great Lakes water levels. This projection, available on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, is not just a mere line on a graph but a glimpse into the potential scenarios that could unfold in the near term. The forecast, while not an official pronouncement, offers a roadmap for both policymakers and the public on what to anticipate and how to prepare. Though not set in stone, these projections are a weather vane pointing towards a fluid future that’s as unpredictable as the weather itself.

The Swings Get Bigger

During the first week of October 2023, WUWM and NPR dedicated an entire week to stories and conversations around the search for climate solutions, with a spotlight on the increasingly erratic water levels in the Great Lakes. This discussion, hosted on WUWM, shed light on the larger and faster swings in water levels that are not just digits changing on a measuring stick, but real-world challenges impacting communities, ecosystems, and even the region’s climate. Each swing, whether upward or downward, sends ripples through the region, making the Great Lakes a pulsing heart whose beats are felt far and wide.

Adapting To The New Normal

In a bid to foster resilience among coastal communities in Michigan, the Resilient Great Lakes Coast program is helping locals plan for the shifting lake levels. According to a piece on Yale Climate Connections, prudent building practices are highlighted to mitigate the risks of flooding and erosion, especially in light of the dramatic fluctuations in water levels. When water levels in the Great Lakes are low for a long time, people might build too close to the shore, leading to potential disasters when the levels rise again. This initiative underscores the importance of adaptability in a region where the only constant is change.

Each of these narratives unfolds against the backdrop of a larger conversation surrounding climate change and its ripple effects on our environment. As the waters of the Great Lakes ebb and flow, so too does the urgency to understand, adapt, and mitigate the challenges that come with these changes.

The Unchanged Lake Michigan-Huron

In a twist that no one saw coming, Lake Michigan-Huron has decided to play it cool. According to WOOD TV, the water level of this combined lake has remained unchanged since October 2022. That’s right, folks, it’s as if the lake looked at the calendar and said, “Nah, I’m good.” So, if you’re a fan of consistency, Lake Michigan-Huron is your go-to lake this season.

Seasonal Decline in Superior and Michigan-Huron

Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are apparently in sync this season. According to a report by the International Joint Commission, both lakes are experiencing a seasonal decline. So, if you’re into fall foliage and dropping lake levels, you’re in for a treat. It’s like the lakes are saying, “Hey, we’re just going with the flow of the season, alright?”

Sources For Great Lakes Water Level News

MLive. “Great Lakes’ water levels are starting to fall, enjoying a rare normal moment.” 17 October 2023,

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “Monthly Bulletin of Great Lakes Water Levels – October 2023.” October 2023,

WUWM and NPR. “Water levels in the Great Lakes are swinging bigger and faster.” 2-8 October 2023,

Yale Climate Connections. “Water levels in the Great Lakes can fluctuate dramatically.” October 2023,

“Great Lakes Water Levels, Upwelling Event, Great Lakes News.” WOOD TV, 20 Oct. 2023, WOOD TV.

“Update on Lake Superior Outflows and Expected Conditions October 2023.” International Joint Commission, 4 Oct. 2023, International Joint Commission.

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Michael Hardy

Mike Hardy is the owner of Thumbwind Publications LLC. It started in 2009 as a fun-loving site covering Michigan's Upper Thumb. Since then, he has authored a vast range of content and established a loyal base of 60,000 visitors per month.

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