Low Great Lakes Levels in 2012

IN 2011, the US Army Corps of Engineers is forecasted lower levels for Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron. High temperatures coupled with lack of snowfall in the upper Great Lakes are contributing factors to the decline. Lake Superior was expected to continue drop from 2011 and was expected to drop another two inches over the next month. Currently lakes Michigan and Huron are 7 inches above the water levels measured in 2011.

Great Lakes Water Levels
Caseville Ice Shanty Jan 2011

Warm Temps, Lack of Ice Cover

NOAA’s National Ice Center reported that most of the Great Lakes region did not freeze over and open water was reported on all the lakes except for Lake St. Clair.

When drought, low snow melt and evaporation send the Great Lakes toward historically low water levels, it dampers the $34 billion Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway shipping industry. Given the amount of raw materials and agriculture affected it could costs jobs and impact the economy.

Overall the levels of the Great Lakes’ basin continues to approach historic lows. Low water levels in the 1930s and again in the 1960s was weather-related. Will lake levels continue to decline because of evaporation during these warmer winters?


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