Lake Erie Water Levels
What you need to know
Since the last glaciers retreated more than 10,000 years ago, Great Lakes water levels have varied dramatically. The difference between the amount of water coming into a lake and the amount going out is the determining factor in whether the water level will rise, fall, or remain stable. When several months of above-average precipitation occur with cooler, cloudy conditions that cause less evaporation, the levels gradually rise. Likewise, prolonged periods of lower-than-average precipitation and warmer temperatures typically result in lowering of water levels.
Why do water levels fluctuate?
Tracking Water Levels
A hydrograph is a plot of lake levels versus time. This Hydrograph shows monthly average water levels for Lake Erie from 1918 to 2018 (click to enlarge).
Monthly means and Daily Averages
Daily and Monthly mean lake-wide average water levels for Lake Erie (1918-2019)
Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlook
A brief bulletin summarizing the latest season’s weather and water level conditions and provides an outlook for the upcoming quarter.
Water Level Forecasts
Army Corps of Engineers Weekly Great Lakes Water Level Update
How do water levels impact the Erie Community?
Presque Isle State Park’s manager and a Pennsylvania DEP chief talk about water levels at the peninsula.
IMPACTS OF HIGH WATER LEVELS
Increased sediment transport in the nearshore zone
Alterations to stream and river mouths
Damage to coastal infrastructure
Flooded marinas, docks, boat launches
Shrinking beaches in areas often used for recreation
Increased impacts from storms
Increase in coastal wetland habitats associated with drowned river mouths; some wetland areas may experience erosion
Where to go for more information..
The information on this page was taken from the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA-GLERL, the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network, and other sources listed below.