Lake Superior Strengthened by Recent Storms

Lake Levels Risen After Heavy Participation

DULUTH, Minn.-  Last month’s storms had a big impact on Lake Superior.

Her water levels have increased dramatically, and the Gales of November could increase levels even more.

According to Minnesota Sea Grant, the direct precipitation from those recent storms, coupled with global warming, have brought water levels up 12 in. higher than average for this time of year.

As we saw, that means flooding, and monstrous waves tossing around debris.

“When we get those big windstorms it’s not just the waves,” Jesse Schomberg, Associate Director of Outreach, said. “With this last storm that we had in Duluth a couple of weeks ago, we saw the water levels creep up a foot or more during that storm, it was essentially a storm surge.”

Schomberg stressed one piece of advice to people regularly around the lake.

“Really respect that lake, those waves can get big and they’re powerful.”

That’s not news to Duluth. The last bout of storms left our lakewalk in shambles, and the lake tossed around pieces of concrete weighing tons.

Experts say that when the lake ices over in the winter, water levels can also increase because the ice stifles evaporation.

But this should be an El Niño winter, meaning less ice coverage.

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