The soggy spring has helped raise water levels in the Great Lakes. Lake Ontario is above average, but the upper lakes could still use more rain. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s David Sommerstein explains:
The soggy spring and summer so far has helped raise water levels in the
Great Lakes. Lake Ontario is above average, but the upper lakes could still
use more rain. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s David Sommerstein
A few years of drastically low water levels have stranded boats and docks
and forced shippers to light their loads throughout the Great Lakes, but
Chuck O’Neill, of New York Sea Grant, says spring rains have come to the
rescue. Precipitation was 30% higher than normal in May region wide, 60%
higher than normal in Lakes Erie and Ontario:
“And when you put that much water into a basin that responds quickly like
the Lake Ontario basin, that’s reflected in the lake level quite dramatically.”
Lake Ontario is up more than 30 inches from March and is now four inches
above average. O’Neill says the rain has helped the upper lakes some, but
they’re still low, especially Lake Superior.
“That is such a huge lake even when they do have above average
precipitation, it takes an awful lot more above average precipitation to
push that lake up anything significantly.”
The rise and fall of the lakes is natural over time, but many experts worry
climate change is lowering the watermark for the long term.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m David Sommerstein.