Great Lakes Water Level Outlook - April 2016 Edition

Outlook Summary:

As of April 1, all of the Great Lakes were above their long term average levels. Strong El Niño conditions persisted through the winter and early spring, resulting in above normal temperatures across the basin. Research has shown that there is enhanced likelihood of La Niña conditions in the year following an El Niño. This edition of the Water Level Outlook explores possible water level outcomes over the next 12 months that would result from Net Basin Supply (NBS, which represents the combined impacts of precipitation over the lake, runoff to the lake, and evaporation from the lake) values that were seen during previous years when El Niño conditions were present during the winter and early spring. The outlook graphic also depicts the water levels that would result from Net Basin Supply values similar to those seen during three years when El Niño was followed by La Niña. 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)
May-16 Jun-16 Jul-16 Aug-16 Sep-16 Oct-16 Nov-16 Dec-16 Jan-17 Feb-17 Mar-17 Apr-17
Maximum level under El Nino Scenarios 183.55 183.70 183.79 183.82 183.79 183.70 183.64 183.60 183.54 183.44 183.40 183.42
Minimum level under El Nino Scenarios 183.48 183.52 183.53 183.48 183.41 183.34 183.29 183.24 183.17 183.13 183.11 183.13
La Nina Scenario 1 183.52 183.59 183.64 183.65 183.64 183.63 183.64 183.58 183.48 183.42 183.40 183.42
La Nina Scenario 2 183.49 183.52 183.53 183.48 183.41 183.34 183.29 183.24 183.17 183.13 183.11 183.13
La Nina Scenario 3 183.48 183.52 183.55 183.54 183.55 183.50 183.42 183.33 183.24 183.18 183.12 183.15
Long Term Average 183.36 183.44 183.51 183.53 183.53 183.51 183.46 183.40 183.32 183.26 183.23 183.25
Long Term Maximum 183.74 183.76 183.82 183.86 183.86 183.91 183.89 183.81 183.70 183.63 183.61 183.68
Long Term Minimum 182.76 182.85 182.96 183.01 183.02 183.10 183.01 182.92 182.83 182.76 182.74 182.72




Lake Michigan-Huron

Monthly Mean Water Level (meters IGLD)
May-16 Jun-16 Jul-16 Aug-16 Sep-16 Oct-16 Nov-16 Dec-16 Jan-17 Feb-17 Mar-17 Apr-17
Maximum level under El Nino Scenarios 176.86 176.96 177.01 177.00 176.90 176.80 176.77 176.79 176.77 176.75 176.72 176.79
Minimum level under El Nino Scenarios 176.75 176.74 176.75 176.70 176.61 176.49 176.39 176.29 176.23 176.22 176.19 176.19
La Nina Scenario 1 176.86 176.96 176.96 176.92 176.86 176.79 176.74 176.69 176.64 176.62 176.65 176.70
La Nina Scenario 2 176.78 176.80 176.77 176.70 176.61 176.49 176.39 176.29 176.23 176.22 176.19 176.19
La Nina Scenario 3 176.79 176.86 176.92 176.90 176.83 176.73 176.62 176.53 176.45 176.39 176.38 176.50
Long Term Average 176.47 176.54 176.57 176.55 176.50 176.43 176.37 176.33 176.29 176.27 176.29 176.38
Long Term Maximum 177.28 177.33 177.39 177.39 177.38 177.50 177.38 177.26 177.18 177.11 177.12 177.23
Long Term Minimum 175.74 175.76 175.78 175.77 175.76 175.70 175.65 175.61 175.57 175.59 175.58 175.61




Lake St. Clair

Monthly Mean Water Level (meters IGLD)
May-16 Jun-16 Jul-16 Aug-16 Sep-16 Oct-16 Nov-16 Dec-16 Jan-17 Feb-17 Mar-17 Apr-17
Maximum level under El Nino Scenarios 175.55 175.57 175.63 175.58 175.51 175.41 175.48 175.46 175.58 175.50 175.53 175.62
Minimum level under El Nino Scenarios 175.41 175.39 175.34 175.28 175.21 175.06 174.96 174.88 174.93 174.96 174.97 175.00
La Nina Scenario 1 175.55 175.57 175.57 175.55 175.44 175.35 175.32 175.37 175.32 175.41 175.48 175.52
La Nina Scenario 2 175.44 175.42 175.39 175.32 175.22 175.09 174.96 174.88 174.93 174.96 174.97 175.00
La Nina Scenario 3 175.49 175.57 175.56 175.49 175.38 175.30 175.20 175.18 175.14 175.10 175.32 175.42
Long Term Average 175.12 175.17 175.19 175.15 175.08 174.99 174.90 174.91 174.83 174.78 174.90 175.04
Long Term Maximum 175.83 175.92 175.93 175.90 175.84 175.96 175.82 175.80 175.80 175.80 175.80 175.82
Long Term Minimum 174.42 174.45 174.50 174.41 174.34 174.27 174.18 174.24 173.88 173.89 174.05 174.32




Lake Erie

Monthly Mean Water Level (meters IGLD)
May-16 Jun-16 Jul-16 Aug-16 Sep-16 Oct-16 Nov-16 Dec-16 Jan-17 Feb-17 Mar-17 Apr-17
Maximum level under El Nino Scenarios 174.70 174.76 174.81 174.74 174.67 174.56 174.59 174.61 174.76 174.72 174.76 174.89
Minimum level under El Nino Scenarios 174.59 174.54 174.47 174.42 174.32 174.13 174.04 173.96 173.97 174.09 174.18 174.26
La Nina Scenario 1 174.70 174.72 174.72 174.69 174.55 174.43 174.41 174.46 174.47 174.53 174.66 174.81
La Nina Scenario 2 174.62 174.57 174.55 174.47 174.35 174.20 174.04 173.96 173.97 174.10 174.18 174.26
La Nina Scenario 3 174.66 174.76 174.69 174.61 174.43 174.37 174.27 174.24 174.22 174.22 174.52 174.69
Long Term Average 174.30 174.33 174.32 174.25 174.16 174.06 173.99 173.99 173.99 173.99 174.07 174.22
Long Term Maximum 174.97 175.04 175.03 174.94 174.83 174.94 174.85 174.89 174.86 174.78 174.88 174.98
Long Term Minimum 173.44 173.45 173.45 173.43 173.38 173.30 173.20 173.19 173.21 173.18 173.20 173.38




Lake Superior

Monthly Mean Water Level (ft IGLD)
May-16 Jun-16 Jul-16 Aug-16 Sep-16 Oct-16 Nov-16 Dec-16 Jan-17 Feb-17 Mar-17 Apr-17
Maximum level under El Nino Scenarios 602.20 602.69 602.99 603.08 602.99 602.69 602.49 602.36 602.17 601.84 601.71 601.77
Minimum level under El Nino Scenarios 601.97 602.10 602.13 601.97 601.74 601.51 601.35 601.18 600.95 600.82 600.75 600.82
La Nina Scenario 1 602.10 602.33 602.49 602.53 602.49 602.46 602.49 602.30 601.97 601.77 601.71 601.77
La Nina Scenario 2 602.00 602.10 602.13 601.97 601.74 601.51 601.35 601.18 600.95 600.82 600.75 600.82
La Nina Scenario 3 601.97 602.10 602.20 602.17 602.20 602.03 601.77 601.48 601.18 600.98 600.79 600.89
Long Term Average 601.57 601.84 602.07 602.13 602.13 602.07 601.90 601.71 601.44 601.25 601.15 601.21
Long Term Maximum 602.82 602.89 603.08 603.22 603.22 603.38 603.31 603.05 602.69 602.46 602.40 602.62
Long Term Minimum 599.61 599.90 600.26 600.43 600.46 600.72 600.43 600.13 599.84 599.61 599.54 599.48


Lake Michigan-Huron

Monthly Mean Water Level (ft IGLD)
May-16 Jun-16 Jul-16 Aug-16 Sep-16 Oct-16 Nov-16 Dec-16 Jan-17 Feb-17 Mar-17 Apr-17
Maximum level under El Nino Scenarios 580.25 580.58 580.74 580.71 580.38 580.05 579.95 580.02 579.95 579.89 579.79 580.02
Minimum level under El Nino Scenarios 579.89 579.86 579.89 579.72 579.43 579.04 578.71 578.38 578.18 578.15 578.05 578.05
La Nina Scenario 1 580.25 580.58 580.58 580.45 580.25 580.02 579.86 579.69 579.53 579.46 579.56 579.72
La Nina Scenario 2 579.99 580.05 579.95 579.72 579.43 579.04 578.71 578.38 578.18 578.15 578.05 578.05
La Nina Scenario 3 580.02 580.25 580.45 580.38 580.15 579.82 579.46 579.17 578.90 578.71 578.67 579.07
Long Term Average 578.97 579.20 579.30 579.23 579.07 578.84 578.64 578.51 578.38 578.31 578.38 578.67
Long Term Maximum 581.63 581.79 581.99 581.99 581.96 582.35 581.96 581.56 581.30 581.07 581.10 581.46
Long Term Minimum 576.57 576.64 576.71 576.67 576.64 576.44 576.28 576.15 576.02 576.08 576.05 576.15


Lake St. Clair

Monthly Mean Water Level (ft IGLD)
May-16 Jun-16 Jul-16 Aug-16 Sep-16 Oct-16 Nov-16 Dec-16 Jan-17 Feb-17 Mar-17 Apr-17
Maximum level under El Nino Scenarios 575.95 576.02 576.21 576.05 575.82 575.49 575.72 575.66 576.05 575.79 575.89 576.18
Minimum level under El Nino Scenarios 575.49 575.43 575.26 575.07 574.84 574.34 574.02 573.75 573.92 574.02 574.05 574.15
La Nina Scenario 1 575.95 576.02 576.02 575.95 575.59 575.30 575.20 575.36 575.20 575.49 575.72 575.85
La Nina Scenario 2 575.59 575.52 575.43 575.20 574.87 574.44 574.02 573.75 573.92 574.02 574.05 574.15
La Nina Scenario 3 575.75 576.02 575.98 575.75 575.39 575.13 574.80 574.74 574.61 574.48 575.20 575.52
Long Term Average 574.54 574.70 574.77 574.64 574.41 574.11 573.82 573.85 573.59 573.43 573.82 574.28
Long Term Maximum 576.87 577.17 577.20 577.10 576.90 577.30 576.84 576.77 576.77 576.77 576.77 576.84
Long Term Minimum 572.24 572.34 572.51 572.21 571.98 571.75 571.46 571.65 570.47 570.51 571.03 571.92


Lake Erie

Monthly Mean Water Level (ft IGLD)
May-16 Jun-16 Jul-16 Aug-16 Sep-16 Oct-16 Nov-16 Dec-16 Jan-17 Feb-17 Mar-17 Apr-17
Maximum level under El Nino Scenarios 573.16 573.36 573.52 573.29 573.06 572.70 572.80 572.87 573.36 573.23 573.36 573.79
Minimum level under El Nino Scenarios 572.80 572.64 572.41 572.24 571.92 571.29 571.00 570.73 570.77 571.16 571.46 571.72
La Nina Scenario 1 573.16 573.23 573.23 573.13 572.67 572.28 572.21 572.38 572.41 572.61 573.03 573.52
La Nina Scenario 2 572.90 572.74 572.67 572.41 572.01 571.52 571.00 570.73 570.77 571.19 571.46 571.72
La Nina Scenario 3 573.03 573.36 573.13 572.87 572.28 572.08 571.75 571.65 571.59 571.59 572.57 573.13
Long Term Average 571.85 571.95 571.92 571.69 571.39 571.06 570.83 570.83 570.83 570.83 571.10 571.59
Long Term Maximum 574.05 574.28 574.25 573.95 573.59 573.95 573.65 573.79 573.69 573.43 573.75 574.08
Long Term Minimum 569.03 569.06 569.06 569.00 568.83 568.57 568.24 568.21 568.27 568.18 568.24 568.83


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.