WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Water levels across the Great Lakes are expected to drop by the end of the month.

On New Year’s Eve, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its weekly water level update for the Great Lakes, detailing forecasted water levels for the upcoming month compared to previously recorded levels.

In the update, USACE confirmed that Lake Ontario’s water level was 9 inches above its level from 2020, resulting in the Lake being above its long-term December levels. Lake Ontario’s outflows through the St. Lawrence River were also above average.

All other lakes, except Lake Superior, also logged similar highs, exceeding their long-term averages for the month of December.

However, according to USACE, by January 31, water levels on Lake Ontario are forecasted to decline by one inch. Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are forecast to decline by 2 inches and Lakes St. Clair and Erie are forecast to decline 5 inches.

Below is a detailed chart regarding average water levels and predictions for January 2022. All data contained herein is preliminary in nature and therefore subject to change.

Lake OntarioLake ErieLake St. ClairLake Michigan-HuronLake Superior
Forecasted water level for Dec. 31, 2021 (feet)245.67572.83575.56579.63601.35
Difference from average water level for Dec. 31, 2020 (inches)+9-3-7-17-12
Difference from long-term monthly average of Dec (inches)+14+23+20+12-5
Projected net change by Jan. 31, 2022 (inches)-1-5-5-2-2
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The U.S. Corps of Engineers warned, however, that water levels shown are still-water surface elevations over the entire lake surface. Water levels at specific locations may differ substantially due to meteorological influences.

Official records are based on monthly average water levels and not daily water levels. Those on the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River are urged to stay informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities affected by changing water levels.