Rain, evaporation make predicting lake levels tricky

Capital News Service
LANSING — Predicting water levels in the Great Lakes isn’t as straightforward as it would seem. A warm winter has led to lower ice coverage — just 5 percent of the Great Lakes was covered with ice as of March 1. The average coverage at this time for the last 40 years has been 43 percent, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor. Less ice means less protection from evaporation and, theoretically, lower water levels, said Jacob Bruxer, a senior water resources engineer with Environment and Climate Change Canada. But it’s not quite that simple.

Water level predictions illustrates Great Lakes’ complexity

Capital News Service
LANSING — Recently released Great Lakes water level predictions have Superior, Michigan and Huron on the same page. But lakes Erie and Ontario flow to the beat of a different drum. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predict that the bigger lakes will drop below the level they were a year ago. Erie and Ontario are set to be higher than a year ago. How does that work?