All the Great Lakes have well above average water levels. Lake Michigan-Huron (same water level) is up 1″ in the last month, up 8″ in the last year and is at 18″ above the average August level. Lake Superior is also up 1″ in the last month. It’s up 3 ” year-to-year and is now 9″ above the August average. Lake Erie is down 3″ in the last month, but is 10″ higher than one year ago and stands at 18″ above the average August level. They have been trying to get the level of Lake Ontario down after it set an all-time record high level earlier this year. Ontario si down 8″ in the last month. However, it’s up 27″ in the last year and is 25″ above average. That’s 3″ below the highest August level ever reached in 1947. Lake St. Clair is down 2″ in the last month, up 8″ in the last year and is 20″ above the average August level.
Needless to say, there is less beach on the Great Lakes this year than last year. With the higher levels, the piers and breakwaters become more dangerous because it’s easier for waves to come over the top (and wash you into the water). As you might expect, the rivers that connect the Great Lakes are all experiencing above average flow. The St. Clair River at Port Huron is running at 214,000 cubic feet per second, compared to an average of 186,000 cfs. (pic. from S. Lashley, NOAA/NWS).
Some river flow readings as of 2 am Sat.: Grand River at Grand Rapids – 1,530 cfs (avg. 1,530 cfs – exactly average flow for 8/12), Muskegon River at Croton – 1, 440 cfs (vs. avg. 1,130 cfs), Kalamazoo River at New Richmond – 1,250 cfs (avg. 1,300 cfs), St. Joseph River at Niles – 1,990 cfs (avg. 2,000 cfs). River levels will likely drop a bit in the next 5 to 6 days.
Great Lakes News: Oops! Underwater photographer captures forgotten stories beneath Great Lakes. World class fishermen come to Michigan. Bidding is underway for six decommissioned lighthouses built before 1930 that the federal government has put up for auction. Five overlook the Great Lakes in Michigan. Manitoulin Island. Point Betsie Lighthouse restored. Toxic algae. The U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing a $5 million grant to improve the docks for the S.S. Badger ferry in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and in Ludington, Michigan. A fundraising campaign has been created to repaint the retired U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw WAGB-83, which has been operated as a museum ship in Cheboygan, Michigan since 2006. “Heroes on Deck” – the story of aircraft carrier training in Lake Michigan after Pearl Harbor. 30 kayakers rescued. Reminds me of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in “Ghostbusters”.