2 Great Lakes levels could hit record, forecast finds

The Detroit News
People enjoy the beach at Grand Haven State Park May 20th, 2016.  Erosion and near-record-high lake levels have reduced what had been expansive stretches of beach around the West Michigan shoreline.  It has currently risen 4 feet since January 2013, when it hit a record low. It’s in contrast to water levels for Lake Michigan and Lake Huron in 2013, which were 2 feet below average.  (Photo By | Katy Batdorff)

Great Lakes water levels will be higher than normal, and some may approach record levels, for the summer boating season, according to the latest forecast of Great Lakes water levels issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Lake Superior is already near record high levels and by May could reach a record that was set in the mid-1980s, according to a six-month forecast.

Lake Erie could reach record highs in late spring as well. 

Lakes Michigan-Huron, and St. Clair won't break records but are expected to be above normal, the Army Corps predicts.

Higher levels can mean more erosion, less beach and less room to pass under bridges. They also could mean more clearance from underwater obstacles and help prevent the need for costly dredging of harbors.

Lake levels, dependent on precipitation and evaporation, have recovered substantially from January 2013, when Lakes Huron-Michigan set record lows.  

Lake Superior is just 2 inches below its record high February level and Lake Erie is 7 inches below its record this month, according to the Corps. 

The above-normal lake levels are happening despite the Great Lakes area getting below average rain in January and December.