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Report: Great Lakes post higher-than-average water levels in July

Jul 26, 2018 07:09AM ● By Editor

By Mark Hicks from the Detroit News - July 24, 2018

As summer pushes past its peak, the Great Lakes are above their long-term average levels for July, though some have started to see seasonal decline, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported.

Analyzing data stretching back to 1918, the group found water levels for Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie and Ontario were noticeably higher than what typically is seen this month.

St. Clair was 20 inches above the July average; Erie, 18; Michigan-Huron, 16; Superior, 6; and Ontario, 2, according to the most recent levels update issued July 20.

Still, those bodies of water either were near or below the levels recorded at the same time in 2017.

That's also the case for Lake Superior, which given the heavy rains between June and July managed to see about 2.75 trillion more gallons of water, National Weather Service experts said.

That lake's level, forecast around 602.56 inches on Friday, was about 4 inches below the figure notched a year earlier, the Army Corps of Engineers report found.

Lake Superior is expected to rise another inch through late August, according to the update.

It's a different story for St. Clair, Erie and Ontario, which the corps found have dropped 1, 4, and 6 inches, respectively. Those three bodies of water are forecast to fall 3, 4, and 6 inches over the next month.

Meanwhile, there's been no change over the last 30 days in the average water level on Lake Michigan-Huron, which is expected to decline about an inch in the next month, corps officials said.

Overall, temperatures throughout the Great Lakes basin were slightly above normal summertime readings but are expected to return to near average, according to the analysis.

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