The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, is forecasting record high water levels on several of the Great Lakes over the next six months.
Due to recent wet conditions, the six-month water level forecast now predicts higher water level peaks this summer. The forecasted water levels on Lakes Superior, St. Clair and Erie are all expected to break records set in the early 1950s and middle 1980s.
While new record highs are not currently forecasted for Lakes Michigan, Huron and Ontario, very high water levels are expected there as well.
“Several months of wet weather, including a significant snowpack across the northern Great Lakes basin and recent heavy rain events have pushed water levels higher than originally forecasted,” said Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District.
In the past month, all of the Great Lakes have experienced rises in water levels, with Lake Michigan-Huron rising by 8 inches and another 3 inches expected by June.
The Corps estimates that the Great Lakes region will continue to see the threat of coastal flooding and shoreline erosion, especially during storm events. Localized water levels are often impacted by winds and can be significantly higher during storms. Water levels and flow rates in the connecting channels of the Great Lakes are also high and may, depending on winds and other atmospheric conditions, lead to localized flooding.