Lake Superior Water Level Nears Record High
Next Year's Level Could Be As High or Higher
DULUTH, Minn. – Lake Superior water levels hit near record highs last year. This year, experts predict the lake levels could be just as high or higher.
Lake Superior water levels were about a foot above normal last year. The high levels are better for shipping but can have negative effects on the shoreline.
According to experts, the October storm that destroyed parts of the Duluth Lakewalk did not have historically strong winds. The damaging waves were formed because of the record high water level.
“When we talk a foot doesn’t sound like a lot, but a foot is the difference between a storm that it’s fun to go look at the big waves and a storm that really does significant damage to our infrastructure,” said Jay Austin, a UMD Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
High lake levels can also lead to more shoreline erosion.
If the Lake Superior basin gets a normal amount of precipitation this year, the water levels are expected to be very high again.
The Army Corps of Engineers predicts Lake Superior could break its record high water level set in the mid-1980s.