Lake Ontario water levels have recently dipped below long-term average for the first time since January 2017.
A report released today by the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board (the Board) provides a detailed account of the historic 2017 flood, and the Board’s actions under Plan 2014 to regulate Lake Ontario outflows in the face of high inflows and record-breaking precipitation.
Spring has come and mostly gone in the Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River system, and much more moderate weather conditions have left water levels throughout the basin well below the extreme highs that occurred last year.
Water levels across the Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River system have now begun their typical spring rise, but several months of high outflows combined with favorable winter weather conditions has levels back within their normal range and well below those seen during the historic high water event…
The average Lake Ontario outflow during the month of February was the highest in recorded history.
Several months of maximizing outflows has dropped Lake Ontario at an unprecedented rate and to well below the record peak set at the end of May 2017, yet water levels remain relatively high for this time of year after a cold and wet start to winter.
The International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Board (Board) will temporarily reduce outflows through the Moses-Saunders Dam on October 7-8 in an effort to raise water levels on Lake St. Lawrence and provide a one-time opportunity to assist with end-of-season boat haul outs.
A stretch of mild, dry weather has accelerated the decline in Lake Ontario water levels in recent weeks, bringing some welcome signs of relief to many of those impacted by wide-spread flooding and coastal damages across the Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River basin this year.
Record-breaking natural conditions have exceeded the capability of water level regulation to prevent the wide-spread flooding and coastal impacts experienced across the Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River basin.
Lake Ontario levels have been dropping rapidly compared to average rates through the months of June and July.