Lake Michigan and Huron will see water levels rise 10 inches above average levels recorded at the same time last year and 2 inches higher than the highest monthly average on record for May.
Water levels forecast for May 1 were above their levels of one year ago for Lake Michigan, Huron, St. Clair and Erie, while Lakes Superior and Ontario are below last year’s levels, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Detroit.
The levels on lakes Michigan and Huron, which are measured as one body of water, and St. Clair and Erie are predicted to be 10, 2, and 3 inches, respectively, above their levels last year.
The projections signal that Michigan property owners could continue to combat bluff and shoreline erosion, damage to coastal infrastructure and flooding. The rising lake levels represent long-term challenges for a region that has faced swings of the lakes’ extreme highs and lows. Levels surged in the 1980s before dropping sharply in the 2000s.
The latest high-level reports from the Army Corp follow record or near-record levels set on the Great Lakes last year.
For the month of April, new record high monthly mean water levels were set on Lake Michigan and Huron, St. Clair and Erie, according to a May report from the Army Corps.
The levels, the report found, surpassed previous records by 3-4 inches, which were set in 1986 on Lakes Michigan, Huron and St. Clair, and in 1985 on Lake Erie.
Lakes Michigan and Huron will trend upward beginning in May. Rising levels are expected through August before dipping in September and October, according to the Corps’ projections.
All of the lakes experienced a rise in water levels from March to April. Lake Superior rose 2 inches from March to April, while Lakes Michigan, Huron and St. Clair rose 3 inches. Lakes Erie and Ontario also rose by 4-6 inches, respectively, from March to April.
The Corps has been emphasizing higher lake levels to be better prepared given record-breaking water levels in 2019.
Water levels on lakes Erie and Superior set records for four months straight going into the fall. Lake St. Clair also set all-time highs for several consecutive months.
Read or Share this story: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/05/06/record-highs-projected-lakes-michigan-huron-summer/5173682002/