How Cold Is Lake Michigan Compared to Long Term Averages?

How Cold Is Lake Michigan Compared to Long Term Averages?

It has disrupted air shows, fireworks displays and kept folks along the shoreline in their jeans and sweatshirts.  Flip flops are worn out of spite.  The brutally cold winter we suffered through resulted in over 93% of the lake freezing over.  Our spring was on the cold side, running between 1° to 2°F below normal.   Here we are in late June and on average, Lake Michigan water temperatures are running about 10° to 12°F below normal.  When the warmer and more moist summer air masses hit that cold water, fog and low clouds often form.  This fog has postponed the Summerfest kickoff fireworks show and ruined the air show in Milwaukee last weekend. 

So how cold is the lake compared to historical readings?

The plots below are provided by GLIN, the Great Lakes Information Network

More specifically, they can be found on this Great Lakes Statistics page

Lake Temps Compared to Previous 5 Years

Lake Temps Compared to Long Term Avg

Mild winters can lead to more water evaporation and lower lake levels.  The combination of more winter ice (less evaporation) and a wet spring into early summer has brought water levels up.  We are running about 1 1/4 feet higher compared to last year:



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