Confused by the El Niño weather effect on lake levels for Huron Michigan?

Post updated January 19, 2016 and noted inside

El Niño is a weather pattern created from the interaction of the atmosphere and the ocean producing warmer than normal water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. Even though it occurs at the equator, it produces weather conditions globally – including in the Great Lakes Region.

Water levels are impacted by many variables including short term weather like El Niño and longer term climate conditions. It is important to understand both.

Weather Vs. Climate

image that shows conflicting road signs

NOAA describes it these ways:

  • Weather is what you might see outside on any given day, while climate is the average of that weather over a longer time period.
  • “Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.”

Long term outlook – According to most scientists water levels for Lake Huron-Michigan are likely to continue to decline over the longer term due largely to climate change – however,  short-term variations of extreme highs due to flashier storms are possible.

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