After a record-setting May 2020 for high water levels on Lake Michigan, people may be surprised at just how much lower the mark is a year later. The pattern of increasing water levels switched as a result of a very dry winter and spring. Data collection for the month of May 2021 shows the month's level is 17 inches below the May 2020 measurement. Chief of the Watershed Hydrology Branch with the Detroit Corps of Engineers Keith Kompoltowicz says the current levels are still not low.
Though May’s lake levels were a foot and a half above average still, the coastal flooding and erosion impacts along the shoreline may not be as pronounced this year, says Kompoltowicz. He adds that the lake levels weren’t a surprise to him as they’ve remained consistent with weather patterns in winter and spring. He says that the forecast for the near future indicates the lake level could even get lower next year. Complete data on great lakes levels can be found here.