Snow, Ice Cover Will Boost Great Lakes Levels

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

 Ice cover in the Great Lakes has reached 91 percent - the highest percentage this year and second highest since 1973. The record high of 94.7 percent was set in 1979. Several more days of very cold temperatures and low wind speeds could result in a new record. That will depend on conditions in Lake Ontario, since the other lakes are already mostly covered in ice. 

NOAA

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- Federal officials say this winter's deep freeze and heavy snowfall will help nudge Great Lakes water levels closer to normal over the next six months.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says lots of water is stored in the huge snowpack that will melt this spring. The water content in the snow piled up around Lake Michigan is 30 percent higher than at any other time in the last decade.

Just 14 months ago, Lakes Michigan and Huron slumped to their lowest levels ever recorded.

Hydrologist Keith Kompoltowicz says water levels are determined largely by evaporation rates as well as snow and rain.

Heavy ice cover has slowed evaporation this winter, while the snowfall is continuing a wet period that began last year.

Michigan Ice Cover


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