Great Lakes Water Levels
Water levels in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron dropped six times faster than average in February. The lakes' water level dropped 3 inches in February, according to the latest data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. On average, the water level in lakes Michigan and Huron drops a half-inch in February, according to data the Corps of Engineers has tracked over the past century.
The lakes are currently 16 inches below their long-term average for early March. Great Lakes water levels typically fall in the winter and rise in the spring, after the snow melts. A combination of weather factors that caused water levels to drop in February could mean water levels on Lake Michigan will be lower this summer than in 2006. An earlier Corps of Engineers forecast called for Lake Michigan's water level this summer to be about 2 inches above last year's level.
Water levels have dropped nearly 4 feet in Lake Michigan since 1998. That change is significant because lower lake levels drive up the cost of shipping and can make recreational boating more dangerous.