While water levels remain high on Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair, conservation authority officials expect them to drop somewhat this month.
Average daily water levels on Lake Erie at the beginning of August were approximately 175.01 metres (International Great Lakes Datum). This is just one centimetre below the all-time record high monthly average for the same month set last year, stated the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority.
Average daily levels are down 13 cm from this year’s peak daily average level set in May and are 18 cm lower than last year’s peak daily average water level set that June.
Water level forecasts are currently predicting a drop in lake levels of 10 cm this month.
As for Lake St. Clair, average daily levels at the beginning of this month were approximately 176.02 metres.
This is 6 cm higher than the all-time record high monthly average for August set last year. Current average daily water levels are down 6 cm from this year’s peak daily average level set in May, which was the same as last year’s level set that July.
Water level forecasts are currently predicting a drop in lake levels of 7 to 8 cm over this month.
“As can be seen by the water elevations referenced above, current water levels on the lakes are equal to, or are exceeding, the all-time record monthly averages for August set last year,” the conservation authority stated.
“Compared to last year, or even compared to earlier this year, the very small differences in water levels we currently have and expect by the end of the month are not significant in terms of the flood risk they present.”
Officials added that sustained winds can cause an effect known as “setup” where water from one end of the lake gets pushed to the other, creating a rise in levels at the far end of the lake.
In the Lower Thames Valley jurisdiction, the rise from this effect on both lakes can exceed the difference between current lake levels and last year’s peak water levels.
“In addition, wave heights on the lakes can far exceed this difference. The current risks of flooding and shoreline damage are essentially the same as they were last year during the peak water level summer months,” the conservation authority stated. “The extent of any flooding and shoreline damage we may experience will be determined by the wind speed, wind direction and the waves they create.”