The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reporting water levels in Lakes Michigan and Huron are 11 inches below its level of a year ago. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 11, 13, and 12 inches, respectively, lower than their levels of a year ago. Over the next month, Lake Superior is forecasted to remain near its current level, while Lake Michigan-Huron is expected to fall another 2 inches. The water levels of Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are forecasted to fall 6, 5, and 3 inches, respectively, over the next thirty days.
If dry conditions continue, the Corps estimates that by December the Michigan-Huron levels will approach the historic low water levels last seen in 1964.
Conditions Likely to Get Worse
What’s disturbing is that the lake levels are not recovering. A review of the chart datum collected by NOAA and the USACE typically showed a water level bounce back within two years of low level. Since the late 1800s water levels of all the Great Lakes fluctuated above and below the long term average year to year. However since 1997 lake levels have trended lower in each consecutive year with no recovery.
- Where the water went: Georgian Bay and the future of the Great Lakes (macleans.ca)
- Alarm sounded on low lake levels (lfpress.com)