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Whats the latest Great Lakes water levels?

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Old 01-02-2003, 02:08 PM
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I was hoping for better news......hopefully we will get much needed rain in the spring and what ever else is needed to get the lake up.....Fred
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Old 01-02-2003, 02:35 PM
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I have dirt at the sea wall also but had the same thing last year and it came up enough to bring the boat in.
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Old 01-02-2003, 02:40 PM
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Annual Fluctuations
The level of Lake Erie, as with the levels of all the other Great Lakes, undergoes a natural cycle of changes throughout the year. Typically, the lake level is highest during the early summer months and lowest during the dead of winter. These fluctuations are related to seasonal changes in the amount of water flowing into and out of the lake. In-flow for Lake Erie includes drainage from the upper portion of the Great Lakes basin through the Detroit River, water from rivers flowing directly into the lake, contribution from ground water, and also from precipitation falling directly into the lake. Out-flow includes discharge to Lake Ontario through the Niagara River, evaporation, and any diversions or other withdrawals.

Long Term Fluctuations
In addition to this annual fluctuation, the levels of the Great Lakes also exhibit long-term fluctuations that cycle between a much wider range of levels. These fluctuations result from cumulative effects of a prolonged and persistent deviation from average climatic conditions. Several successive seasons or years of above or below normal precipitation are usually required before a reversal of the current general trend can begin.

Recent Trends
The level of Lake Erie generally ranged above normal for the last 30 or so years of the 20th century. These persistently high water levels reflect the above-normal precipitation that consistently fell in the Great Lakes basin, especially during the 20-year period prior to the record-high level year of 1986. During this 20-year period, precipitation accumulated to nearly 39 inches above normal, and for individual years was below normal in only four of those twenty years. The high levels reached during 1985-87 surpassed the previous high levels set in the early 1970s. Following drier years, most notably 1976-77 and 1987-89, lake levels declined to near normal during the late winter and early spring months, but quickly rebounded to above-normal by the summer months following spring runoff. In early 1996, lake levels again approached normal before rising sharply following above-normal precipitation in the upper Great Lakes basin.

Typically, the level of Lake Erie fluctuates about 14 inches during a given year. During 2001, the level of Lake Erie actually fluctuated slightly less than this amount, only about 13 inches. Of note however, are declines in Lake Erie levels during the late 1990s. For example, Lake Erie had a net decline of nearly 4.2 feet between the 1997 peak (June) and the lowest level observed during 1999 (Feb.). This was a significant drop in water levels in the Great Lakes hydrologic system. This decline in lake levels can be attributed to below normal precipitation, especially in the upper Great Lakes basin, during the second half of 1997 and throughout most of 1998 and to excessive evaporation, especially during the winter months during these same years. In addition, precipitation in the Lake Erie basin was below normal during 1999, as most areas of Ohio experienced drought conditions. All of these factors have contributed to declining lake levels, not only in Lake Erie, but also in the entire Great Lakes system.

Short Term Predictions
Current climatic and hydrologic conditions appear to be more favorable for the Great Lakes basin water supplies than earlier forecasts, but water levels on all of the lakes (except Lake Ontario) are expected to remain below their long-term average throughout the summer. The U. S Army Corps of Engineers predicts that, based on the present condition of the Great Lakes basin and anticipated future weather conditions, the level of Lake Erie will remain about 6 inches below the normal seasonal-levels throughout the summer of 2002. Although these projected levels are nearly 3 feet lower than the summer lake levels of just a few years ago, they are several inches higher than the summer 2001 levels. Unusual deviations from the expected weather patterns could result in Lake levels ranging from a few inches above average to nearly 1.5 feet below normal.


For more information please contact:
David H. Cashell, ODNR Division of Water, (614) 265-6743
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Old 01-02-2003, 02:55 PM
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That was interesting .... even for a west coaster like me.

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Old 01-02-2003, 04:23 PM
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where I dock in the harbor I have seen days in rthe fall when a south wind storm kicked up and within an hour the water went from 3 feet to dry. if it weren't so muddy you could walk across the harbor. As long as your boat slip is dredged its kinda cool to watch.
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