Water levels in the Great Lakes continue to remain high.
Every month this year, Lakes Michigan and Huron have surpassed record-high water levels set in the 1980’s. In June, those lakes were nearly three feet above average.
Lakes Ontario, Superior and Erie didn’t break any records last month, but were still between nine-to-29 inches above average.
Scientists claim changing weather patterns are causing more precipitation in the region, which leads to the high lake levels.
“If you think about the question in terms of what provides the best explanation for what’s happening right now, a warming planet would provide the best explanation,” says Drew Gronewald, a hydrologist at the University of Michigan.
Gronewald says precipitation across the Great Lakes has been well above average for the past decade. He says projections show the region will continue to get more rain and warmer temperatures in the future.
As a result, the Great Lakes are likely to remain high for the forseeable future.
“We do forecast water levels to stay above average for all of the lakes for the next six months,” says Deanna Apps, a scientist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Major erosion and flooding continues in many communities on the Great Lakes. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is warning those affected by high water levels last year to prepare for similar or worse impacts in the coming months.