Lakes Michigan, Huron near record increase

MARQUETTE – While Lake Superior rose by its typical 3 inches during April, precipitation feeding lakes Michigan and Huron pushed those lakes to rise 9 inches during the month, the second-highest amount in nearly a century.

“The 9-inch rise in April is the second-highest since 1918, a result of the well-above average precipitation the basin received during the past month,” U.S. Army Corps in Engineers Detroit District officials said in a news release.

Army Corps officials said the levels of lakes Michigan and Huron are still 22 inches below their long-term average beginning-of-May levels and are 6 inches lower than last year.

Levels of those two lakes and Lake Superior are expected to continue to rise this month, the corps said.

The Army Corps said Lake Superior is 13 inches below its long-term average beginning-of-May level and an inch below last year. During April, water supplies to Lake Superior were slightly below average.

Water levels for Lake Superior may increase in above average amounts this month after late spring snow melt, which has produced flooding along several Great Lakes tributaries.

National Weather Service forecasters in Negaunee Township said since March 1, 9.87 inches of precipitation had fallen at the station, which was 3.56 inches above the normal amount of 6.31 inches.

Forecasters said there was also an above average snowfall since March 1, with 77.9 inches of snow that was 28.2 inches above the normal of 49.7 inches.

Several places in the Upper Peninsula got fresh snowfall Friday. A regional analysis for the northern Great Lakes Region said 23.8 percent of the area remained covered by snow Saturday, compared to 53.9 percent last month.

The average depth of that snow was 2.2 inches.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.