Abundant rain and snowfall have given the Great Lakes a boost this year, but it's too early to declare an end to low water levels that have made life miserable for cargo shippers and marina operators since the late 1990s.
The Great Lakes Information Network says water levels on Lake Ontario started November 11 inches higher than a year ago. Lake Erie is five inches above average and the upper lakes are also about 11 inches higher than a year ago. All the lakes have been dropping this month.
Even with more water, the upper lakes are still 17 inches below their long-term average for the month. Lake Erie is normal and Lake Ontario is an inch above normal.
U.S. and Canadian government researchers say the rebound is because of our extremely wet spring. Whether they continue rising back to long-term normal depends on whether we have more wet weather or we go back to the pattern of drier conditions that began 20 years ago.