The water level of Lakes Michigan and Huron (at some level) is up 5″ in the last month – unchanged from one year ago – and 14″ above the late May average. The level of Lake Superior is up 6″ in the last month, up 4″ year-to-year and is now 10″ above the century May average. The water level of Lake Erie is up 8″ in the last month, up 9″ in the last year and is now 23″ above the long-term May average. Erie is only 4″ below the record high level set in 1986.
Lake Ontario is the big story – it continues to be at an all-time record level. Ontario is up a whopping 14″ in the last month, up 32″ year-to-year and is 33″ above the average level for late May – it’s 5″ higher than it has ever been in late May. Obviously, this is causing significant beach erosion and some flooding, which is compounded when strong winds create large waves that crash against the shore. In some areas, there is no beach left, with the water up into the grass or bluff.
Lake St. Clair is up 6″ in the last month, up 6″ in the last year and is now 20″ above the century average level.
Since 1/1, Grand Rapids is 3.23″ above average for precipitation. Fort Wayne IN has had 9.15″ of rain so far in May, making this the 2nd wettest May ever. Cleveland has had 6.07″ of rain in May, 2.67″ above average. Buffalo is at 6.28″ for May, 3.06″ above average. Buffalo has had over 17″ of precipitation since 3/1 and that’s nearly 8″ above average. All that extra rainfall has been flowing into Lakes Erie and Ontario. (pic. of sandbags along the Lake Ontario show from WROC).
The Miami River at Antwerp Ohio is running 13 times average volume (18,800 cfs vs. an aveage of 883 cfs). The Cuyahoga River at Newberg Heights OH is at 5,200 cfs compared to an average of 850 cfs. Rivers in Michigan are generally higher than average, but not nearly as high as rivers that empty into lakes Erie and Ontario. The Grand River at Grand Rapids is at 4,400 cfs compared to an average flow of 3,579 cfs. The Muskegon River at Evart is at 1,280 cfs compared to an average of 1,050 cfs. The Kalamazoo River at Comstock is 1,220 cfs compared to an average of 867 cfs and the St. Joseph River at Niles is at 7,740 cfs – more than double the average flow of 3,510 cfs.