El Niño could impact Great Lakes water levels

GreatLakesThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration met with other federal entities this month to discuss the future of Great Lakes water levels.

Drew Gronewold is a hydrologist with NOAA.

He said lake levels have been rapidly rising recently.

“It’s important to note that water levels on all the lake systems are right at or above their averages for this time of year. Much of that is due to with the fact that water levels were on a very rapid incline, or rise over the last two years.”

The coming year is expected to see an increasingly strong El Niño weather pattern.

That means the great lakes are likely to see warmer and wetter than usual.

Keith Kompoltowicz is Chief of the Hydrology Branch of the U.S Army Corp of Engineers.

He said Great Lakes water levels may not rise as much as usual.

“In the fall we see starkly colder temperatures, interacting with warmer water temperatures. That sets the stage for evaporation, so one potential impact would be a lower seasonal decline because of lower evaporation.”