Lake Ontario water levels to fall 2 inches in next month, officials say


NEW YORK (WWTI) — Although New York has recently experienced rainy weather, Lake Ontario water levels are still predicted to drop as fall approaches.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, based in Detroit, released its weekly Great Lakes water level update on August 13. This report detailed levels on all lakes and their tributaries.

According to the USACE, heavy precipitation rates across the Great Lakes basin in the second week of August resulted in water levels on Lake Michigan-Huron, Erie and Ontario to rise one to four inches above their level from a month ago.

However, water levels remain six to fourteen inches below their levels from last year on all lake and water levels remain below their long-term average levels for August on Lake Ontario. These below-average rates are expected to continue within the next month.

Specifically, water levels on Lake Ontario, Erie, St. Clair and Michigan-Huron are forecasted to decline by two to five inches. By September 13, water levels on Lake Ontario are expected to drop a minimum of two inches. Outflow conditions differ, however. For the month of August, Lake Ontario’s outflow through the St. Lawrence River is projected to be above average.

The chart below details water levels on the Great Lakes compared to previous data:

Lake OntarioErieSt. ClairMichigan-HuronSuperior
Difference from average water level for July 13, 2021+3 inches+1 inch0 inches+4 inches0 inches
Difference from average water for August 13, 2020-8 inches-6 inches-10 inches-14 inches-10 inches
Difference from long-term monthly average of August-2 inches+20 inches+21 inches+20 inches+1 inches
Projected net change in levels by September 13, 2021-2 inches-5 inches-3 inches-3 inches0 inches

The USACE also warned that water levels shown are still-water surface elevations over the entire lake surface. Water levels at specific locations may differ. Users of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River are urged to stay informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels.

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