A wetter than normal February across the Lake Superior watershed increased water supply to the big lake and kept the lake’s level much higher than usual, the International Lake Superior Board of Control reports.
Lake Superior dropped only 1.6 inches in February, less than the usual two-inch drop for the month. The lake now sits 13 inches above normal for early March and six inches above the March 1 level in 2017.
The current level is the second highest ever recorded for this time of year.
That high water level, if the wet weather trend continues through spring and summer, could lead to all-time record high levels for the lake by August or September, the time of year when Lake Superior generally reaches its highest level. That could spur another round of erosion and flooded shoreland as has happened in and around the Twin Ports and South Shore last summer and fall, especially during high-wind and wave events.
The big lake generally rises from April to September and then falls through March.
The net water supplies to Lakes Michigan-Huron were also above average in February pushing their water level up a small amount during a moth it usually drops a little. The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron is 20 inches above the long-term average for early March, 10 inches higher than March 1, 2017 and the 11th highest on record.