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Boreal Community Media

2018 Lake Superior water levels above average

Sep 01, 2018 07:38AM ● By Editor

MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - "When you have a lot of rain that falls in a short amount of time, especially in terrain areas like we see in the Keweenaw and western portions of the Upper Peninsula, you can certainly see some issues with respect to flooding," said Linda Gilbert, Lead Meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Marquette County.The National Weather Service says on average the Houghton area can expect to receive seven inches of rain for the months of June, July and August. In 2018 they received 17.

"So essentially this summer has been doubled what is expected in Houghton," Gilbert explained.

The National Weather Service says the rain that has fallen on the Upper Peninsula over the past three months has been in-proportionate. The western half of the Upper Peninsula has seen roughly twice the rain fall that the eastern half has gotten.

"Sault Ste. Marie, on the other side, they've had about 4.89 inches or so in that area," said Gilbert.

The Army Corps of Engineers monitors Great Lakes water levels. They say for 2018 Lake Superior's levels are four to five inches above average, but two to nine inches below 2017's levels.

"It's mostly due to our weather in the Great Lakes region," said Keith Kompoltowicz, Chief of Watershed Technology for the Corps of Engineers. "Typically the level of Lake Superior reaches its peak right around this time of year."

Specifically, they say the average water level for September in Lake Superior is 602.2 feet. For 2018, with increased rainfall, their six-month forecast predicts Lake Superior's water levels around 602.6 feet-a difference of roughly four inches.

"Folks are paying very close attention to water levels and how it might impact their specific shoreline," said Kompoltowicz.

The Corps of Engineers say most of the Great Lakes water levels are above average for 2018. They expect to release their six-month water level forecast over the Labor Day weekend.

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