NWS: Heavy rains add 2 trillion gallons to Lake Superior

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News
Aerial photos show Upper Peninsula flooding that has damaged hundreds of structures.

So much rain poured onto Michigan’s Upper Peninsula between June and July, Lake Superior rose 5 inches, or about 2.75 trillion more gallons of water, National Weather Service experts say.

On average, the water level of Lake Superior rises roughly 3 inches between June 13 to July 13, the weather service's Marquette station reported on its Facebook page last week. But heavy rain doused the western portions of its basin, “resulting in precipitation amounts of 6 to 10+ inches or 150 to 300 percent of normal,” officials wrote.

Recent downpours sparked flooding in the region. The federal government has pledged $2 million to help repair damaged roads, and Gov. Rick Snyder issued disaster declarations for Gogebic, Houghton and Menominee counties, making them eligible for state resources.

Though the lake rose 5 inches in 30 days, the current water level is 4 inches lower than this time in 2017, according to the weather service. 

“As long as abnormally wet conditions don’t occur over the basin in the next 2 to 3 months, the water level of Lake Superior will at least be a little lower than last year heading into the fall storm season,” weather officials wrote.

During a teleconference hosted by the International Joint Commission’s International Lake Superior Board of Control on Thursday afternoon, its Canadian secretary Rob Caldwell said Lake Superior’s water conditions are expected to remain above average for the next six months.