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Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels

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Weekly Forecast

WEEKLY GREAT LAKES WATER LEVEL UPDATE

March 06, 2015

 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

Bitterly cold weather maintained its grip on the Great Lakes basin last weekend, as temperatures ranged from 14 to 28 degrees below normal throughout the majority of the basin on Friday and Saturday.  Temperatures rose to near average by Tuesday, before dropping sharply on Wednesday.  This past February proved to be the coldest on record in cities like Marquette and Grand Rapids, MI; Cleveland, Buffalo, and Toronto.  Chicago and Detroit experienced their coldest February in 140 years. In addition, precipitation was below average for all of the Great Lakes in February. The frigid temperatures will continue in the Great Lakes basin on Friday, and then climb to near normal levels for the rest of the weekend and into the workweek. Snow showers are projected for Saturday.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 8 and 21 inches, respectively, above what they were at this time last year. Lake St. Clair is near its level of a year ago, Lake Erie is 1 inch above last year’s level, and Lake Ontario is 6 inches below its level of a year ago. Lake Superior is predicted to remain near its current level over the next 30 days, while Lake Michigan-Huron is expected to rise 2 inches. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are forecasted to rise 7 to 15 inches over the next month. Significant ice jams remain in the connecting channels, especially the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers. This build up of ice has restricted flow in the rivers and has caused the level of Lakes St. Clair and Erie to recede. Water levels may fluctuate significantly while ice is present. See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior’s outflow through the St. Mary’s River is forecasted to be above average for the month of March. Lake Michigan-Huron’s outflow into the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair’s outflow into the Detroit River are predicted to be above average in March. In addition, the outflow of Lake Erie into the Niagara River and Lake Ontario’s outflow into the St. Lawrence River are predicted to be near average in March.

ALERTS

Official records are based on monthly average water levels and not daily water levels. Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels. Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings. Ice information can be found at the National Ice Center’s website.

SUPERIOR

MICH-HURON

ST. CLAIR

ERIE

ONTARIO

Forecasted Water Level for Mar 6, 2015 (feet)

601.8

579.04

573.33

570.73

244.13

Chart Datum (feet)

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Difference from chart datum (inches)

+8

+18

+12

+18

+10

Difference from average water level for Feb 6, 2015 (inches*)

-2

-1

0

-4

-5

Difference from average water level for Mar 6, 2014 (inches*)

+8

+21

0

+1

-6

Difference from long-term monthly average of Mar (inches)

+8

+8

-6

-4

-11

Difference from highest monthly average of record for Mar (inches)

-7

-25

-41

-36

-38

Year of highest recorded monthly mean

1986

1986

1986

1986

1952

Difference from lowest monthly average of record for Mar (inches)

+27

+36

+28

+30

+19

Year of lowest recorded monthly mean

1926

1964

1934

1934

1935

Projected change in levels by Apr 6, 2015 (inches)

0

+2

+15

+9

+7

ALL DATA SHOWN IN THIS SUMMARY ARE REFERENCED TO IGLD 1985

*VALUES FOR SPECIFIC DAY ARE BASED ON 3-DAY DAILY AVERAGE AROUND SPECIFIED DATE

LONG TERM AVERAGE PERIOD OF RECORD, 1918-2013

FORECASTED INFORMATION PROVIDED BY

RECORDED DATA (1918 – present)

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT

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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.