Jay Austin

Assistant Professor

Large Lakes Observatory/ Department of Physics

University of Minnesota, Duluth

Duluth, MN 55812


In late 2006, Lake Superior water levels started dropping rapidly due to a prolonged and fairly widespread drought. Out of curiosity, I've been keeping an eye on these levels and have watched them drop to near-record lows, and recently rebound to near average levels. Here is a display of daily water levels from 1970 to the present- each thin line is one year. The thick blue line is the average over the roughly 38 years of data; the red line this year (2008). The thin red line at the bottom is 2007; you can see how amazingly anomalous this was, and how remarkably it has recovered, thanks in large part to heavy rains last October and a wet Spring 2008. The light light-blue line just below 2008 is 2001, another anomalously low year. The green line at the top right is 1985 (continued into 1986 as the top red line), the modern record for lake level.


Lake Superior Water Levels








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