Lake Michigan level touches record low for month [View all]
Lake Michigan kissed its record low water level for October on one day last week, and federal officials now predict the world's fifth largest lake is likely going to plunge into never-seen-before levels in the coming months.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported on Monday that on one day last week, water levels were essentially at the lake's official record low for October, a monthly average that was set in 1964. The weekend rains brought a slight rebound of about an inch, though the long-term forecast calls for the level to continue dropping in the coming months into areas never seen since modern records began in 1918.
If the prediction holds, "We would tie the record low for November and December and then go below it from January through March," said Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of the Army Corps' watershed hydrology branch for the agency's Detroit district.
Water levels are tracked daily, though records are based on monthly averages. That means even if Lake Michigan dropped below its record low for October for a day or even a week, it would not be considered by the Army Corps to be a record low until the monthly average for October is tallied - and that average would have to be lower than the record set in 1964.