Snow And Cold May Help Great Lakes Levels Rebound


All the snow and cold temperatures this winter may contribute to rising water levels on Lakes Michigan and Superior. Federal agencies say plenty of snow in the Great Lakes region stands to bring more water to the lakes, and near-record ice on the lakes is slowing evaporation.

Keith Kompoltowicz of the Army Corps of Engineers says Lake Superior’s water level is 12 inches higher than a year ago, and just an inch below the lake’s long-term average for February. He says the lake level for March may wind up being an inch higher than average.

“That would be the first time since April of 1998,” he said, “that the water level on a monthly basis for Lake Superior is exceeding its long term average.”

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Kompoltowicz says the connected lakes, Michigan and Huron, are 13 inches higher than a year ago, but still 13 inches below their long-term average. So shipping this year may again be affected, “maybe by reducing load size and requiring more trips.”

Kompoltowicz also says the Michigan-Huron level may see a slightly larger than average rise this spring and summer.