Wondering how the water levels around the Old Mission Peninsula are looking for 2020? The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released its projections for the next six months, and guess what? It looks like we can expect even higher water levels around our little Peninsula – which signals even more erosion issues and perhaps more road closures.
Below is a graphic released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Detroit District yesterday. Let’s dive into the graphic and analyze the numbers. (Click on the graphic for a larger version.)
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The red line is the recorded water level since January 2018. The black lines are the current record level for each month, with the year indicated on each line. So, for example, in January 2019, the black line is the record high for that month, which took place in 1987. The actual recorded water level was far below the record high that month.
The green dashed line on the right side of the graph is the one to pay attention to, because that’s the projected water level for the next six months. And you can see that it’s projected to be even higher than the record levels for each of those months.
However, that doesn’t mean that’s what will happen. The shaded red area surrounding the green dashed line indicates a likely range of values for the next six months. The upper limit of the shaded red area puts water levels about six inches higher than past record levels. The lower limit of the shaded red area puts water levels below past record levels. So, it could go either way.
But take a look at the upper level for June 2020. If the water level goes that high, it would place the water levels of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron at an all-time record high – higher than the record level, which took place in October 1986.
Keep in mind that during the past year, the water levels in all of the other Great Lakes have set new record highs – and most of those records were set during the summer months. Lakes Michigan and Huron just missed breaking a record last year by one inch.
As Mark Breederland, Extension Educator with Michigan Sea Grant, said in the OMP Shoreline Workshop organized by resident Monnie Peters last November, “buckle your seatbelts,” because 2020 is shaping up to be another year of high water in northern Michigan.
For more information about Great Lakes water levels from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, click here.