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Weekly Forecast

ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS WEEKLY GREAT LAKES WATER LEVEL UPDATE

Jan 17, 2020

 

       

WEATHER CONDITIONS

The Great Lakes basin experienced some below average temperatures early last week with a return to normal temperatures later in the week. Those near normal temperatures are expected to continue through this weekend. A significant storm went through the region and precipitation was in the form of snowfall and freezing rain depending on the area of the Basin. Month to date accumulated precipitation for the region is now average compared to historical averages due to the large amount of precipitation that fell last weekend. Another storm system is expected to impact the region this weekend with generally 4 to 8 inches of snowfall expected throughout the Great Lakes Basin.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

Forecasted January 17th lake levels are between 3 and 18 inches higher than last year. The predicted water levels of January 17th are 6, 7, and 1 inches higher, respectively, than a month ago for Lakes Erie, St. Clair, and Ontario, nearly the same as a month ago for Lakes Michigan-Huron, and an inch lower than a month ago for Lake Superior. The predicted January 17th water levels for Lakes Michigan-Huron and St Clair are above their record high monthly averages in January by 3 inches. Looking a month out to February 17th, water levels on Lakes Superior, Michigan Huron and St. Clair are expected to decrease by 3, 1 and 4 inches, respectively, while water levels on Lake Ontario are expected to increase by 4 inches. Lastly, water levels on Lake Erie are expected to remain fairly constant. See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior’s outflow into the St. Marys River is forecasted to be above average. Lake Michigan-Huron’s outflow into the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair’s outflow through the Detroit River are predicted to be above average for January. In addition, Lake Erie’s outflow into the Niagara River and Lake Ontario’s outflow into the St. Lawrence River are projected to be above average for January. Water levels and flows in the connecting channels can be significantly impacted by ice during the winter months.

ALERTS

Water levels shown are still-water surface elevations over the entire lake surface. Water levels at specific locations may differ substantially due to meteorological influences. 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. High water levels and potentially record high water levels are expected to persist for at least the next six months, so flood prone areas are expected to remain vulnerable. Ice information can be found at the National Ice Center’s website.

SUPERIOR

MICH-HURON

ST. CLAIR

ERIE

ONTARIO

Forecasted Water Level for Jan 17, 2020 (feet)

602.72

581.53

577.03

573.56

246.19

Chart Datum (feet)

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Difference from chart datum (inches)

+19

+48

+57

+52

+35

Difference from average water level for Dec 17, 2019 (inches*)

-1

0

+7

+6

+1

Difference from average water level for Jan 17, 2019 (inches*)

+3

+18

+16

+8

+9

 

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

+15

+37

+41

+32

+19

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

0

+3

+3

-2

-5

Year of highest recorded monthly mean

1986

1987

1986

1987

1946

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

+35

+66

+79

+63

+48

Year of lowest recorded monthly mean

1926

2013

1936

1935

1935

 

Projected net change in levels by Feb 17, 2020 (inches)

-3

-1

-4

0

+4

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, 1918-2017

FORECASTED INFORMATION PROVIDED BY

RECORDED DATA (1918 – present)

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT

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Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels

We do not have the ability to offer email updates at this time.  The Weekly Forecast of Great Lakes Water Levels is updated each week on Thursday afternoon or Friday morning depending on data availability.

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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.