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Lake Superior January decline more than usual

Feb 07, 2018 06:33AM ● Published by Editor

Lake Superior Shoreline - Photo by Hella Buchheim for Boreal Community Media


By John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune - February 6, 2018

A dryer than normal January provided some relief for Lake Superior property owners with the big lake dropping more than normal so far in 2018.

The level of Lake Superior declined 4 inches in January, a month it usually drops only 3 inches. But the lake remains 13 inches above average for Feb. 1 and is 7 inches above the level at this time last year.

The lake is at its second-highest level on record for the start of February and officials still warn that late winter snows and spring rains could push the lake toward record levels by late summer or early fall. The lake level generally falls from October through March and then rises from April through September.

Persistent high Lake Superior water levels have led to some coastal erosion in areas of soft soils like sand and clay and to headaches for some Duluth waterfront property owners that have seen flooded land and even wet basements.

The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron remained stable last month, while on average the lakes decline about an inch. The lakes' Feb. 1 level was 18 inches above the long-term average and 10 inches higher than Feb. 1, 2017.

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Lake Superior Ice Coverage Map. Click on map to enlarge. [GLERL Ice Concentration for Lake Superior]

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