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  • Corps of Engineers share May-Oct. water level outlook

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hydraulics and Hydrology officials forecast Great Lakes water levels to continue seasonal rise. From the shores of Lake Superior, Detroit District Watershed Hydrology Section Chief Keith Kompoltowicz discusses the latest six-month water level forecast in the seventh ‘On the Level’ video, available on the district’s YouTube page at https://youtu.be/imwYDUBbMd0. “Lake Superior’s water level in April was about an inch below its long-term average,” according to Kompoltowicz. “Looking at the forecast for the next 6 months, Superior’s level should remain near average. In looking at the rest of the Great Lakes system, Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are above their respective long term average levels, but well below the record high levels recently experienced.”
  • Scenarios product provides insight to potential future water levels

    DETROIT- Using historical data similar to recent conditions, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Future Scenarios product illustrates Great Lakes’ water level variabilities. “The tool allows us to investigate the different meteorological or hydrological conditions impacting the Great Lakes basin and how it affects water levels,” said Detroit District Watershed Hydrology Section Physical Scientist Deanna Apps. “You may find this product helpful to better understand the variability in water levels that could occur under certain scenarios.” Apps, who is also a lead water level forecaster explains the scenario-based tool that is publicly available on the Corps of Engineers’ website in the sixth ‘On the Level’ video, available on the Detroit District’s YouTube page at: https://youtu.be/Jyl8RkNBIy0.
  • Measuring Great Lakes flows helps forecast water levels

    DETROIT- Monitoring the amount of water moving through the Great Lakes system is important to help forecast Great Lakes water levels and support international monitoring efforts. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials physically measure discharge, or flow, in the connecting channels using acoustic technology. Monthly flow in the connecting channels is the largest contributing factor to the level of each Great Lake and is a critical piece in forecasting Great Lakes water levels. Detroit District Hydraulic Engineer, Matt McClerren demonstrates flow measurement on the Detroit River and how the Corps of Engineers estimates monthly flows the fifth ‘On the Level’ video, available on the district’s website at https://go.usa.gov/xFEWx.
  • Corps of Engineers video explains monthly water level bulletin

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases its second ‘On the Level,’ Great Lakes water level and forecast video today. Great Lakes Watershed Hydrology Chief Keith Kompoltowicz talks through interpreting the Detroit District’s most popular product, the Great Lakes water levels monthly bulletin. Property owners, boaters, industries and many others use the bulletin as a source for water level information. “Each lake’s water level is portrayed in a hydrograph, or a plot of water surface elevation over time,” according to Kompoltowicz. “The District is happy to offer this edition of ‘On the Level’ to help anyone better understand the information the Corps of Engineers regularly provides.”
  • Corps of Engineers debuts video series

    DETROIT- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases a new Great Lakes water level video series today. ‘On the Level’ will provide monthly information and updates about the Great Lakes’ water levels and forecasts from Detroit District Hydraulics and Hydrology experts. “Our team is always looking for new ways to share information about the Great Lakes water levels and we are really looking forward to adding the ‘On the Level’ video series to our repertoire,” said district Great Lakes Watershed Hydrology Chief Keith Kompoltowicz. “We plan to share a wide variety of material and we hope folks will look forward to them every month.”
  • Great Lakes water levels below recent years record high levels

    DETROIT- Even with a return to wetter conditions in late June and July, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers officials expect Great Lakes water levels to remain below 2019 and 2020 levels - when many record highs were set across the lakes. Late spring and summer are typically when the lakes reach seasonal peaks before beginning seasonal declines in the late summer or early fall. This year, seasonal rises leading up to peak levels were less than average on all the lakes. This is especially true for Lake Michigan-Huron, which experienced its peak monthly mean level for the year in January. This has only occurred three other times (1931, 1958 and 1987) in the coordinated water level period of record (1918-2020).
  • Great Lakes water levels continue seasonal rise

    DETROIT- Great Lakes water levels are below last year’s record levels but will continue rising before peaking in the summer months. During the spring, water levels typically begin a seasonal rise due to increased precipitation and runoff. Drier conditions so far this spring limited seasonal rises on some lakes, however, there are still a few months left in the typical seasonal rise period. “Dry conditions have continued for most of the Great Lakes region, with the exception of the Lake Superior basin, which experienced above average precipitation in April,” said Detroit District Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office Chief John Allis. “These drier conditions have resulted in lake levels that are much lower than the record highs of recent years. However, some lakes are still above average and coastal flooding and erosion are still possible, especially during periods of active weather and increased wave action.”
  • Great Lakes water levels lower than 2020 heading into spring rise

    DETROIT- Great Lake water levels in 2021 are tracking below last year’s levels, though Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, St. Clair and Erie remain well above long-term average levels, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials who track and forecast Great Lakes water levels. Lake Ontario recently fell slightly below long-term average levels. The February 2021 monthly mean water levels ranged from 7 to 23 inches below levels from this time last year. Since November 2020, the Great Lakes basin experienced four consecutive months of below average precipitation. This combined with a cold air outbreak during February led to increased evaporation across the lakes and caused a St. Clair River ice jam to develop. When ice jams occur, water levels downstream of the restriction decline, while water levels upstream of the restriction rise.
  • High water levels and wave events increase safety hazards

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urges caution around Great Lake piers, breakwaters and jetties, particularly during times of high wind and wave events. Many accidents and incidents near harbor structures occur during the turbulent weather season late in the year and higher than normal water levels pose an added threat. The lakeshore attracts local residents and visitors alike and some may not be aware of the powerful impacts that strong winds, storms and high water levels can bring. Dangers of High Water Levels, Waves. The Great Lakes are experiencing higher than normal water levels, which bring safety hazards such as submerged breakwaters, dangerous rip currents and electric shock risks.
  • Corps of Engineers report Great Lakes water levels remain high as fall storms approach

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials report despite seasonal declines, Great Lakes water levels remain high as fall storms approach. “The Corps of Engineers urges anyone impacted by high water levels last fall to prepare for similar or worse impacts in the coming months,” Detroit District Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office Chief, John Allis said. The Corps’ Detroit District is responsible for monitoring, forecasting, collecting and disseminating Great Lakes water level information. For the most up-to-date Great Lakes water level information visit the district’s website at www.lre.usace.army.mil/Missions/Great-Lakes-Information.
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