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Snow, Ice Cover Will Boost Great Lakes Levels

Updated: 03/05/2014 3:54 PM
Created: 03/05/2014 3:44 PM WDIO.com
By: JOHN FLESHER, AP Environmental Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Federal officials say this winter's deep freeze and heavy snowfall will help nudge Great Lakes water levels closer to normal over the next six months.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says lots of water is stored in the huge snowpack that will melt this spring. The water content in the snow piled up around Lake Michigan is 30 percent higher than at any other time in the last decade.

Just 14 months ago, Lakes Michigan and Huron slumped to their lowest levels ever recorded.

Hydrologist Keith Kompoltowicz (kom-PAUL'-toe-witz) says water levels are determined largely by evaporation rates as well as snow and rain.

Heavy ice cover has slowed evaporation this winter, while the snowfall is continuing a wet period that began last year.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

This image, acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite, shows the Great Lakes on February 19, 2014, when ice covered 80.3 percent of the lakes.
Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS NASA

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