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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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Weekly Forecast

ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS WEEKLY GREAT LAKES WATER LEVEL UPDATE

Mar 22, 2019

 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

As high temperatures continued to reach above freezing throughout the last week, snowmelt, runoff, and ice jams caused flooding concerns for many locations in the western half of the basin. In addition, last Thursday there was also severe weather that impacted the southern half of the basin. Tornadoes were reported in southeast Michigan and northwest Indiana. Temperatures have slowly risen throughout the work week and high temperatures throughout the basin are expected to be above normal throughout the coming weekend. Many areas will see high temperatures reach the low 50s this weekend. This weekend in areas east of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario snowfall is expected beginning Friday morning and lasting through Saturday afternoon. Generally 2 to 5 inches is expected with locally higher amounts east of Lake Ontario approaching 10 inches. For most of the region, the week ahead will be generally dry with a few chances of precipitation, but overall accumulations will be light.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

Since last month, Lake St. Clair has risen 6 inches, while Lakes Michigan-Huron and Lake Erie have each risen 2 inches. Lake Superior’s level has remained near its current level and Lake Ontario is 1 inch below its level from a month ago. All of the lakes are at higher water levels than this time last year. Lake Superior is 2 inches above last year’s level, Lakes Michigan-Huron is 6 inches above last year, Lake Ontario is 3 inches above its level from last year, and Lakes St. Clair and Erie are both 1 inch above their levels from one year ago. Also, Lake Superior is just 2 inches below the record high monthly mean level for March. In the coming month, all of the lake are expected to continue their seasonal rise. Lake Superior is forecasted to rise 2 inches and Lakes Michigan-Huron is projected to rise 4 inches. Lakes St. Clair and Erie are both expected to rise 5 inches, while Lake Ontario is forecasted to rise 7 inches in the next month. 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 predicted to be above average in March. Lake Michigan-Huron’s outflow into the St. Clair River and the outflow of Lake St. Clair through the Detroit River are projected to be above average. Moreover, Lake Erie’s outflow through the Niagara River and the outflow of Lake Ontario through the St. Lawrence River are forecasted to be above average for March. Flows and water levels can be significantly impacted by ice formation in the connecting channels.

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 22, 2019 (feet)

602.23

580.35

575.98

573.16

245.96

Chart Datum (feet)

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Difference from chart datum (inches)

+14

+34

+44

+48

+32

Difference from average water level for Feb 22, 2019 (inches*)

0

+2

+6

+2

-1

Difference from average water level for Mar 22, 2018 (inches*)

+2

+6

+1

+1

+3

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

+13

+23

+26

+24

+11

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

-2

-9

-9

-7

-16

Year of highest recorded monthly mean

1986

1986

1986

1986

1952

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

+32

+52

+59

+59

+41

Year of lowest recorded monthly mean

1926

1964

1934

1934

1935

Projected change in levels by Apr 22, 2019 (inches)

+2

+4

+5

+5

+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, 1918-2018

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.