Great Lakes Water Levels

2020 Great Lakes Water Levels – July

Updated July 8th. The Army Corps of Engineers – Detroit District is noting that as of July, 2020, that Lakes Superior, St. Clair, and Erie continue to moderate their record setting monthly mean water level records falling below the record thresholds. This is due to lower then average participation throughout the region in June. However Michigan-Huron continues its record setting pace into July , which were previously set in 1986. All of the Great Lakes except for Lake Ontario hit record highs in 2020. These levels project to make 2020 a record year.

Lakes Michigan and Huron are still projected to peak above last year’s levels then begin to duck under the record starting in September.

Yearly Hydrology Recap

February was a fairly dry month throughout the Great Lakes basin. Well, below-average precipitation occurred in each of the lake basins with Lake Superior receiving just 40% of average precipitation during the month. April brought heavy rainfall to some areas, however, the month as a whole was quite dry for the Great Lakes region. During the spring, water levels typically rise on the Great Lakes due to increased rainfall and runoff. In June the entire Great Lakes basin was slightly below average precipitation. Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron experienced precipitation that was near to slightly above average, while in the Lakes Erie and Ontario basins precipitation was well below average at 67% and 55% of average, respectively.

Michigan Huron Lake Levels July 2020

Current Projections

As of July 2020

In July, Lakes Michigan-Huron, and St. Clair, are projected to be 5 and 1 inch, respectively, above their levels of a year ago while Lakes Superior, Erie and Ontario water levels are expected to be 3, 2 and 5 inches below their respective levels of a year ago.

From May to June, Lakes Superior and St. Clair each rose about 2 inches, while Lake Michigan-Huron rose about 3 inches. Lake Erie climbed less than an inch from May to June and Lake Ontario began its
seasonal decline, falling 3 inches.

Lake St. Clair Water Levels July 2020

Great Lake Outflows

As of July 2020

This is now the 6th consecutive month Lake Michigan-Huron has set a record high monthly mean
level. Also, the June 2020 level was 5 inches above its June 2019 level and 35 inches above its June Long Term Average level.

The forecast projects Lake Superior to be 4 to 5 inches below its record high monthly mean levels set last year July through September, and 7 to 8 inches below record high levels October to December. Also, Lake Superior’s water levels are forecast to be 7 to 9 inches above Long Term Average levels through December.

Daily Great Lakes Water Levels

The report below is a view of long-term, basin-scale hydrological data for the Laurentian Great Lakes. Water levels are continuously observed by U.S. and Canadian federal agencies in the region through binational cooperation. NOAA-GLERL relies on this water level data to conduct research on components of the regional water budget and to improve predictive models.

Water level monitoring stations are operated by NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Canadian Hydrographic Service. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Detroit, Chicago, Buffalo) and Environment and Climate Change Canada play crucial roles in research, coordination of data and operational seasonal water level forecasts for the basin.

Michigan Wind Farms

Wind Turbines

Michigan Windfarm Map – Comprehensive map of wind farm projects. Including those planned, under construction or canceled. Data also included decommissioned wind farm projects. Updated as new information is available.

Michigan Windfarm Accidents – A historical record and map of indents occurring on wind and solar energy industrial sites. Incidents include those involving transport of materials to wind farm projects. Updated as information is available.

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