Great Lakes Water Level Outlook - January 2018 Edition

Outlook Summary:

As of January 1st, all of the Great Lakes continue to experience water levels above their long-term average (LTA). The annual net basin supplies to all of the Great Lakes were above average in 2017. Net Basin Supply (NBS) is the combined effect of precipitation over the lake, evaporation from the lake, and runoff to the lake. This edition of the Water Level Outlook incorporates the projection of water levels if NBS values are similar to those seen during previous years when high annual NBS occurred, which occurred in 1951, 1985, 1996, 2014, and 2017. These scenarios demonstrate possible outcomes if 2017 is followed by another year of high net basin supplies in 2018. Years that have a high NBS tend to be characterized by a larger than normal seasonal rise and a smaller than normal seasonal decline. Each of the scenarios are comprised of different events, such as ice cover, snowstorms, and hurricanes at different times of the year that caused the high annual NBS.  The most recent coordinated 6-month forecast is also shown for comparison.





Click on the individual graphics to view a larger, printer-friendly image (pdf).


















* At this time, water level outlooks for Lake Ontario are still under development due to complexities of its weekly regulation process.






Click here to obtain the full Great Lakes Water Level Outlook document (pdf)

Great Lakes Water Level Outlook Data

 

To view the water level outlook data in tabular format, click on the links below.

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Lake Superior

Monthly Mean Water Level (meters IGLD)
Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18 Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19
1951 183.62 183.62 183.69 183.80 183.87 183.90 183.91 183.93 183.94 183.91 183.85 183.78
1985 183.60 183.57 183.61 183.69 183.73 183.74 183.75 183.78 183.81 183.84 183.81 183.72
1996 183.60 183.57 183.60 183.69 183.78 183.84 183.87 183.86 183.85 183.81 183.74 183.70
2014 183.61 183.59 183.62 183.76 183.87 183.91 183.92 183.93 183.93 183.92 183.87 183.79
Ensemble Median 183.59 183.54 183.55 183.63 183.67 183.70 183.70 183.69 183.65 183.62 183.55 183.46
Long Term Average 183.26 183.23 183.26 183.36 183.44 183.51 183.53 183.53 183.51 183.47 183.40 183.32
Long Term Maximum 183.63 183.61 183.68 183.74 183.76 183.82 183.86 183.86 183.91 183.89 183.81 183.70
Long Term Minimum 182.76 182.74 182.72 182.76 182.85 182.96 183.01 183.02 183.10 183.01 182.92 182.83

Lake Michigan-Huron

Monthly Mean Water Level (meters IGLD)
Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18 Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19
1951 176.75 176.80 176.94 177.09 177.14 177.22 177.26 177.23 177.20 177.19 177.16 177.16
1985 176.76 176.86 177.03 177.16 177.21 177.23 177.23 177.22 177.19 177.18 177.17 177.12
1996 176.75 176.74 176.80 176.96 177.11 177.21 177.22 177.21 177.18 177.12 177.09 177.11
2014 176.73 176.72 176.82 176.99 177.13 177.19 177.21 177.23 177.23 177.22 177.19 177.16
Ensemble Median 176.73 176.75 176.81 176.91 177.00 177.03 177.03 176.99 176.91 176.83 176.77 176.72
Long Term Average 176.28 176.30 176.38 176.48 176.54 176.57 176.55 176.50 176.43 176.38 176.33 176.29
Long Term Maximum 177.11 177.12 177.23 177.28 177.33 177.39 177.39 177.38 177.50 177.38 177.26 177.18
Long Term Minimum 175.59 175.58 175.61 175.74 175.76 175.78 175.77 175.76 175.70 175.65 175.61 175.57

Lake St. Clair

Monthly Mean Water Level (meters IGLD)
Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18 Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19
1951 175.37 175.48 175.62 175.69 175.72 175.72 175.69 175.60 175.54 175.54 175.62 175.69
1985 175.40 175.61 175.72 175.72 175.72 175.71 175.68 175.64 175.61 175.72 175.74 175.67
1996 175.33 175.35 175.44 175.59 175.74 175.76 175.72 175.72 175.69 175.63 175.68 175.72
2014 175.28 175.39 175.51 175.68 175.74 175.76 175.74 175.73 175.71 175.68 175.63 175.59
Ensemble Median 175.30 175.37 175.47 175.53 175.57 175.57 175.54 175.48 175.40 175.33 175.32 175.29
Long Term Average 174.78 174.90 175.04 175.12 175.17 175.19 175.15 175.08 174.99 174.91 174.91 174.84
Long Term Maximum 175.80 175.80 175.82 175.83 175.92 175.93 175.90 175.84 175.96 175.82 175.80 175.80
Long Term Minimum 173.89 174.05 174.32 174.42 174.45 174.50 174.41 174.34 174.27 174.18 174.24 173.88

Lake Erie

Monthly Mean Water Level (meters IGLD)
Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18 Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19
1951 174.45 174.62 174.76 174.83 174.83 174.78 174.68 174.56 174.47 174.46 174.52 174.68
1985 174.47 174.70 174.86 174.86 174.83 174.79 174.72 174.64 174.58 174.71 174.81 174.77
1996 174.38 174.45 174.57 174.72 174.87 174.90 174.81 174.76 174.72 174.67 174.74 174.79
2014 174.38 174.46 174.63 174.79 174.85 174.83 174.78 174.73 174.70 174.65 174.60 174.60
Ensemble Median 174.38 174.47 174.61 174.70 174.72 174.70 174.63 174.54 174.45 174.37 174.35 174.37
Long Term Average 173.99 174.07 174.22 174.30 174.34 174.32 174.26 174.17 174.07 174.00 173.99 174.00
Long Term Maximum 174.78 174.88 174.98 174.97 175.04 175.03 174.94 174.83 174.94 174.85 174.89 174.86
Long Term Minimum 173.18 173.20 173.38 173.44 173.45 173.45 173.43 173.38 173.30 173.20 173.19 173.21

Lake Superior

Monthly Mean Water Level (ft IGLD)
Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18 Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19
1951 602.43 602.44 602.66 603.02 603.25 603.34 603.37 603.46 603.49 603.38 603.18 602.97
1985 602.36 602.27 602.39 602.66 602.79 602.81 602.87 602.95 603.04 603.14 603.06 602.76
1996 602.38 602.27 602.35 602.66 602.94 603.13 603.25 603.23 603.18 603.04 602.83 602.69
2014 602.39 602.32 602.44 602.89 603.26 603.38 603.42 603.44 603.44 603.41 603.26 602.98
Ensemble Median 602.32 602.16 602.21 602.45 602.61 602.69 602.70 602.66 602.54 602.43 602.20 601.90
Long Term Average 601.25 601.15 601.25 601.57 601.84 602.07 602.13 602.13 602.07 601.94 601.71 601.44
Long Term Maximum 602.46 602.40 602.62 602.82 602.89 603.08 603.22 603.22 603.38 603.31 603.05 602.69
Long Term Minimum 599.61 599.54 599.48 599.61 599.90 600.26 600.43 600.46 600.72 600.43 600.13 599.84

Lake Michigan-Huron

Monthly Mean Water Level (ft IGLD)
Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18 Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19
1951 579.89 580.04 580.52 580.99 581.18 581.42 581.56 581.45 581.36 581.35 581.24 581.24
1985 579.94 580.27 580.81 581.24 581.41 581.45 581.46 581.44 581.33 581.29 581.26 581.11
1996 579.89 579.85 580.07 580.59 581.08 581.41 581.44 581.40 581.31 581.11 581.01 581.06
2014 579.82 579.79 580.11 580.67 581.13 581.34 581.40 581.46 581.46 581.41 581.35 581.23
Ensemble Median 579.83 579.88 580.10 580.43 580.72 580.82 580.82 580.69 580.40 580.15 579.96 579.78
Long Term Average 578.35 578.41 578.67 579.00 579.20 579.30 579.23 579.07 578.84 578.67 578.51 578.38
Long Term Maximum 581.07 581.10 581.46 581.63 581.79 581.99 581.99 581.96 582.35 581.96 581.56 581.30
Long Term Minimum 576.08 576.05 576.15 576.57 576.64 576.71 576.67 576.64 576.44 576.28 576.15 576.02

Lake St. Clair

Monthly Mean Water Level (ft IGLD)
Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18 Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19
1951 575.37 575.72 576.17 576.41 576.51 576.51 576.41 576.13 575.90 575.91 576.17 576.39
1985 575.45 576.15 576.51 576.52 576.50 576.46 576.38 576.24 576.14 576.52 576.57 576.34
1996 575.24 575.29 575.59 576.10 576.56 576.65 576.50 576.51 576.40 576.20 576.38 576.51
2014 575.06 575.42 575.81 576.39 576.57 576.65 576.56 576.54 576.47 576.38 576.22 576.10
Ensemble Median 575.12 575.35 575.69 575.88 576.03 576.03 575.92 575.73 575.47 575.23 575.20 575.11
Long Term Average 573.43 573.82 574.28 574.54 574.70 574.77 574.64 574.41 574.11 573.85 573.85 573.62
Long Term Maximum 576.77 576.77 576.84 576.87 577.17 577.20 577.10 576.90 577.30 576.84 576.77 576.77
Long Term Minimum 570.51 571.03 571.92 572.24 572.34 572.51 572.21 571.98 571.75 571.46 571.65 570.47

Lake Erie

Monthly Mean Water Level (ft IGLD)
Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May-18 Jun-18 Jul-18 Aug-18 Sep-18 Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19
1951 572.33 572.89 573.37 573.60 573.59 573.42 573.11 572.72 572.41 572.37 572.56 573.08
1985 572.39 573.16 573.67 573.70 573.58 573.45 573.24 572.97 572.76 573.19 573.51 573.39
1996 572.10 572.35 572.73 573.22 573.71 573.83 573.52 573.37 573.23 573.06 573.29 573.46
2014 572.13 572.39 572.92 573.45 573.65 573.59 573.42 573.28 573.17 572.99 572.82 572.84
Ensemble Median 572.13 572.41 572.87 573.15 573.22 573.16 572.94 572.64 572.33 572.07 572.02 572.08
Long Term Average 570.83 571.10 571.59 571.85 571.98 571.92 571.72 571.42 571.10 570.87 570.83 570.87
Long Term Maximum 573.43 573.75 574.08 574.05 574.28 574.25 573.95 573.59 573.95 573.65 573.79 573.69
Long Term Minimum 568.18 568.24 568.83 569.03 569.06 569.06 569.00 568.83 568.57 568.24 568.21 568.27

Detroit District Disclaimer

NOTICE: All data contained herein is preliminary in nature and therefore subject to change. The data is for general information purposes ONLY and SHALL NOT be used in technical applications such as, but not limited to, studies or designs. All critical data should be obtained from and verified by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, Engineering and Technical Services, Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office, 477 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48226. The United States of America assumes no liability for the completeness or accuracy of the data contained herein and any use of such data inconsistent with this disclaimer shall be solely at the risk of the user.