It has been a soggy May across much of New York State. As a result, Lake Ontario water levels are near an all-time high. According to the International Joint Commission who oversees monitoring of the lake level, the level of Lake Ontario is predicted to surpass levels last seen in 2017. Currently Lake Ontario is tied for its monthly record high at 248.92 feet and is less than an inch away from the record height of 248.95 feet.
This level of water is concerning to the communities around the lake. Many towns have begun to prepare for significant flooding with sandbags. Wake warnings for boaters around the shoreline have also been put in place to avoid more water flowing onto shore. According to the Army Corps of Engineers weekly Great Lakes water level update, Lake Ontario has risen 21 inches since April. This is a vast difference compared to the other Great Lakes which have seen water rise by 5-8 inches. These water levels are from a combination of the wetter-than-average conditions in the region and the uncontrolled, record high inflows from Lake Erie. Forecasts predict that the water levels on Lake Ontario are expected to crest over the following weeks, approximately within an inch of the records seen in 2017.
Water levels on Lake Ontario are predicted to crest in the next few weeks. If the beginning of the summer months experiences above-average precipitation, similar to this past May, then water levels could rise higher. The International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board are putting plans into action to provide relief for the communities along the lake that are taking the brunt of the damaging flooding.
For more information on water levels along Lake Ontario click here
For more stories on flooding be sure to click here
© 2019 Meteorologist Shannon Scully
Photo Credit: NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
Army Corp of Engineers
International Lake Ontario- St.Lawrence River Board
International Joint Comission