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Fall Evaporation on the Great Lakes Could Determine Potential Damage

Oct 14 | 2019  by

By Beth Florkowski of Fausone Bohn, LLP posted in Environment on Monday, October 14, 2019.

Paul Bohn, Esq.

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Great Lakes water levels were the highest recorded since 1986. At this time of the year, water levels normally decrease due to evaporation. Water levels are currently declining, but that is on top of already high-water levels.

Evaporation occurs when there is a large difference between the air temperature and the lake surface temperature. The highest evaporation rates on the Great Lakes typically occur in the Fall, which strongly determines how much damage could be caused by high waters. The Great Lakes have an annual rise and fall water level cycle that is determined by the timing of evaporation and precipitation.

If there is not a decline in the water levels this Fall, the Great Lakes could potentially be at high water levels next year when the rising cycle begins. This could result in major damage for shoreline homeowners and coastlines. Storm and wave damage could be the worst the Great Lakes have ever experienced.