Many locations across the Upper Peninsula have seen between 5-10 inches of rainfall surplus so far this year. As a result, water levels in many of the Great Lakes have risen more than we could have possibly predicted at the start of the year. However, water levels are still short of where they should be for the entire Great Lakes watershed as a whole.
Take Lake Superior for example--last year the average depth was 601.28 feet. As of today, current water levels are reading 601.86 feet. That difference may not sound like much, but when you calculate the surface area of Lake Superior, it's more than you might think.
"There's nearly four trillion more gallons of water on Lake Superior right now than there was at this time last August. So, from that perspective, that gives you an idea as to how much water we've had fall into the watershed in the last year or so." That's according to Matt Zika, meteorologist at the National Weather Service.
So although we've made more progress than we expected, Lake Superior is still falling nearly three inches short of the goal which is a water level of 602.10 feet.
However, Lake Michigan is still even worse off track, falling nearly 20 inches short of the average depth which is 577.72 feet.
By the way, those inland lakes across the Upper Peninsula that have been struggling with deficits of a foot or more in the past year have seen marked rises this summer and are close to where they should be.
Higher lake levels translates to lower shipping costs and more fresh water resources for United State and Canada.Here are some GREAT resources if you want to learn more about the other Great Lakes and more!