Lake Ontario water levels are high and won’t be going down soon

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) Water levels are high on Lake Ontario and from what I’ve seen no significant improvement is likely through at least mid summer.

As I’ve looked at things, this is not a meteorological problem. It doesn’t have roots in the weather.

We haven’t had any significant rainfalls. I know it’s been raining quite a bit lately, but the amounts have been light.



Furthermore, we didn’t have a significant or abnormally high snow melt. Snowfall for the season in Syracuse was even a smidge below normal.

The truth of the matter is…water levels on Lake Ontario have been running high since last fall.

The latest forecast from the Army Corps of Engineers, shows the water levels continuing to rise on Lake Ontario heading into this summer. While the centerline forecast remains below the record 2017 levels this summer, it is possible that with enough rain, water levels could approach or even exceed record levels.

There have been reports of flooding near Montreal, so the outflow from Lake Ontario has been choked down to alleviate that.

This is a basic principle. If there is more water in the Great Lakes, than what is being let out, you’re going to have problems. Thus, the water levels on Lake Ontario are on the rise.

You also have to remember that all of the Great Lakes are connected. We can’t be concerned only with what’s happening on Lake Ontario. Higher water levels in the other Great Lakes could translate downstream into Lake Ontario.

Current forecasts by the Army Corps of Engineers show water levels at or above record highs across Lake Superior, Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie. 

Here’s where you can find those forecasts.

That water has to go somewhere and if outflow from Lake Ontario isn’t increased, problems will continue.

That’s why it’s believable that Lake Ontario water levels will remain high right into the summer.

It’s not only the water levels that need to be watched.

Gusty winds could cause some shoreline flooding and possible damage. The Storm Team will keep an eye on the wind potential for the next several weeks.

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