Using historical data similar to recent conditions, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Future Scenarios product illustrates Great Lakes’ water level variabilities.
“The tool allows us to investigate the different meteorological or hydrological conditions impacting the Great Lakes basin and how it affects water levels,” said Detroit District Watershed Hydrology Section Physical Scientist Deanna Apps. “You may find this product helpful to better understand the variability in water levels that could occur under certain scenarios.”
Apps, who is also a lead water level forecaster explains the scenario-based tool that is publicly available on the Corps of Engineers’ website in the sixth ‘On the Level’ video, available on the Detroit District’s YouTube page at: https://youtu.be/Jyl8RkNBIy0.
Each lake graphic has water levels on the y-axis, the date along the x-axis and illustrates several variables such as range of possible outcomes, forecast range and long-term average.
“The new scenario this quarter is based on the development of a La Niña this winter,” according to Apps. “What makes this year unique, is that it’s the second consecutive winter that a La Niña has developed.”
Future Scenario graphics are updated monthly to reflect the latest 6-month water level forecast and the scenarios are updated quarterly on the Detroit District website: https://go.usa.gov/xtK3U.
Water levels follow a seasonal cycle. During the fall and early winter, the lakes generally decline due to an increase in evaporation as temperatures decline and cold air moves over the relatively warm lake waters. In the spring, water levels typically rise due to increased precipitation and enhanced runoff from snowmelt.
The full collection of ‘On the Level’ videos are available on the Detroit District’s YouTube page at: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqtbMFyAaYYNkKS2wxdyBsDYSBQXP3HLq.
Release no. 22-003