Lake Superior's February decline slightly less than average

Ice that covered much of the Lake Superior shore in February has quickly disappeared. Ice that covered much of the Lake Superior shore in February has quickly disappeared. |  Photo: WDIO-TV file

WDIO-TV
Updated: March 05, 2021 11:55 AM
Created: March 03, 2021 04:00 PM

The water level on Lake Superior remains above average after a slightly less-than-usual decline during February.

The International Lake Superior Board of Control says the lake fell 1.6 inches (4 cm) in February, a month when the average decline is 2 inches (5 cm). The board says Lake Superior is expected to continue its seasonal decline in March but there will continue to be an increased risk of erosion, flooding, and coastal damage due to high water levels.

Lake Superior is 7.5 inches (19 cm) above average as of the beginning of March, which is 5.5 inches (14 cm) lower than this time last year. The current level is 7.1 inches (18 cm) below the record high set in 1986.

An updated six-month forecast released Friday by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects that Lake Superior's water level will remain above-average through August, possibly approaching 2019's record highs by the end of summer.

Ice had quickly grown on Lake Superior during February's cold snap but has declined just as quickly. The lake was about 11.5% ice-covered as of Wednesday, according to the NOAA Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting Sytem.

Elsewhere, Lake Michigan-Huron is now 10.2 inches (26 cm) below the record-high level at this time last year. Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, which are at the same level because of their connection through the Straits of Mackinac, declined slightly more than usual in February.

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