Superior level expected to remain above average

HOUGHTON — Lake Superior water levels are predicted to remain above average but decrease slightly in the coming months.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its latest six-month Great Lakes water level forecast Monday.

“The lake levels of the Great Lakes themselves, especially on Lake Superior, are very high compared to their long-term averages, and Lake Superior has only been higher during the period of record-high during the 1980s,” said Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology for the Detroit District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The forecast is determined using current lake conditions and anticipated weather patterns. The projected levels are compared with averages from 1918 to 2015.

“We do expect that the water levels in the spring on Lake Superior to be a couple inches higher than they were during the spring of 2017, and that still remains within 3 to 4 inches or so below the record highs of 1986,” Kompoltowicz said.

The projection indicates a drop in levels through December, January and February. Halfway through March, the downward trend is expected to reverse.

Levels on Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, St. Clair and Ontario are all above average, with Lake Ontario breaking records for May and June, the report found.

Projections indicate that lakeshore erosion issues could reappear in spring.

These high water levels come after record lows between 2010 and 2013.