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Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels

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Weekly Forecast

ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS WEEKLY GREAT LAKES WATER LEVEL UPDATE

Jan 18, 2019

 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

Temperatures hovered around average for most of the Great Lakes region last weekend, although Duluth, MN, experienced temperatures around 15 degrees above normal through Monday. Notable precipitation fell on the southern section of the Great Lakes basin last Saturday, however, the overall basin has been generally dry over the past 7 days.  Moreover, precipitation in the Great Lakes basin this month is about 60% of its monthly average as of January 16th, with Lake Erie receiving only 1/3 of its average precipitation this month to date. This weekend, weather in the Great Lakes basin will turn for the worse. In general, temperatures will actually start out near normal on Friday. However, over the next few days, daily high temperatures will fall to 15 to 25 degrees below normal, and many areas are predicted to experience low daily temperatures in the single digits and below zero on Saturday and Sunday. One meteorology forecast predicted a high temperature of -3 degrees in Sault Saint Marie, MI on Sunday. Moreover, a significant winter storm will descend upon the southern and eastern portions of the Great Lakes region on Saturday, dropping as much as 10 inches of snow.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are in the midst of their seasonal decline and have fallen 1 inch in the past 30 days. Lake St. Clair is at about the same level as it was a month ago, while Lakes Erie and Ontario are 1 and 4 inches above what they were. Lake Superior is at nearly the same level as a year ago, and Lake Michigan-Huron is 2 inches above last year’s level. Both Lakes St. Clair and Erie are 9 inches higher than they were at this time last year, while Lake Ontario is 2 inches below its level of a year ago. Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are expected to remain in decline over the next month, falling 3 and 1 inches, respectively. Lake St. Clair is expected to rise an inch while Lake Erie’s level is projected to be approximately equal to its current level. Lake Ontario is predicted to rise by 4 inches in the next month as outflows continue to be regulated by Plan 2014.

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior’s outflow through the St. Mary’s River is predicted to be above average in January. 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 January.

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 Jan 18, 2019 (feet)

602.46

580.05

575.66

572.83

245.41

Chart Datum (feet)

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Difference from chart datum (inches)

+16

+31

+40

+44

+25

Difference from average water level for Dec 18, 2018 (inches*)

-1

-1

0

+1

+4

Difference from average water level for Jan 18, 2018 (inches*)

0

+2

+9

+9

-2

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

+12

+20

+24

+24

+9

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

-3

-15

-13

-10

-14

Year of highest recorded monthly mean

1986

1987

1986

1987

1946

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

31

48

62

55

39

Year of lowest recorded monthly mean

1926

2013

1936

1935

1935

Projected change in levels by Feb 18, 2019 (inches)

-3

-1

+1

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)

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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.