Lakes slowly rise

With winter over and ice starting to break free from Lake Michigan, things are beginning to look up for water levels.
Alex Doty
Apr 12, 2014

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ forecast, Lake Michigan is 11 inches above its level of a year ago — and the lake is predicted to climb 3-4 inches over the next 30 days.

“We have had a very slow thaw,” said Tom O’Bryan of the corps’ Grand Haven office. “Because it is a slow melt and it’s reached the Great Lakes, it hasn’t increased (water levels) rapidly.”

Overall, the Great Lakes basin saw below-average precipitation in March. Lake Superior received 95 percent of its average precipitation, while Lake Michigan received only 69 percent.

“We still do anticipate being a foot over last year,” O’Bryan said.

Still, it isn’t where it should be to meet the average numbers.

According to Corps of Engineers data, Lake Michigan was 13 inches below its March average. As a result, boaters are asked to be cognizant of water hazards due to continued below-average levels.

Even with the slower-than-normal increases, the water levels are expected to be better than last summer.

O’Bryan noted that there is plenty of time for improvement before the summer. That’s because the lake’s water level typically doesn’t peak until July.

“A lot of our water doesn’t come from West Michigan, but from all over the Great Lakes basin,” O’Bryan explained. “Most of our water comes from (Lake Superior), and that is still really frozen up there.”

Higher water levels mean plenty of good news. And while the obvious would be boating and shipping benefits, there are other advantages.

Wetland Watch President Leslie Newman said the melting snowpack and higher water levels provide a benefit in the fight against invasive species.

To read the whole story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

Comments

IceBergSlimDrai...

Tom O'Bryan is the man

dyankee

Hopefully, this will not be a surprise to anyone, except the global warming alarmist.(more of a disappointment for them) Lake levels fluctuate on a 30-35 year cycle. Look back to 1984 when the Bil-Mar was almost in Lake Michigan and 30 years prior to that time when the amount of beach area was about what we have now.

Leslie is spot on when she states "higher water levels provide a benefit in the fight against invasive species" and I would also add including, lower water levels, as well hence, the 30 year cycle of water level changes.

Mother Nature has it under control, people. This is why there is floods, tornados, storms, lighting, drought, hurricanes, hi/low lake water levels, etc... because it cleanses the earth and is a natural process that sadly, at times, cares not about anything or anyone.

High or low lake levels is NOT from emissions, cow flatulence, the combustible engines, or mowing your lawn when it is 90 degrees outside, stupid. Its a cycle...always has been and always will be...Can we stop now with the environmental hostage taking of our economy, manufacturing, energy exploration, the incandescent light bulb, and our way of life?

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on GrandHavenTribune.com? Create a new account today to get started.