Plan 2014 (High Lake Levels)


Staff member
Feb 15, 2004
The Beach Strip
Great Lakes: Wind, waves a bad recipe for shoreline floods
Digital Writers

As of May 7, water levels in Lake Ontario were at about 75.55 metres, which is approximately 30 cm below 2017 record levels that swamped the Toronto Islands in 2017. Water levels are expected to rise approximately 1 cm each day based on the current inflow and outflow rates.
The lake level has been increasing sharply since mid-April when outflow to the St. Lawrence River was severely limited in an attempt to mitigate major flooding underway in eastern Ontario and southern Quebec.
The body responsible for regulating flow from the lake -- the International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board -- expects water levels to continue rising until late May or early June, and puts the forecast peak somewhere between 75.65 to 75.95 metres. That would top 2017's record levels by about two centimetres.

Read whole article;
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Staff member
Feb 15, 2004
The Beach Strip
Real time lake levels can be found on this government site, as listed below, the level for today would be close to 75.75. This would include the wave action from the lake.

From the same Site;

Natural Factors Affecting Lake Levels
The natural factors that affect water level fluctuations include: precipitation, evaporation, runoff, groundwater, ice retardation, aquatic growth, meteorological disturbances, tides, crustal movements and meteorological disturbances. Precipitation in the form of rain, snow and condensation is the source of all waters reaching the Great Lakes. Over-lake precipitation represents a large and immediate supply of water to the Great Lakes because about one third of the Great Lakes basin area is lake surface. The land area contributing runoff to the Great Lakes, in a band from about 10 to 150 km wide around the lake shores, is drained by a system of rivers and intermittent streams. The amount of precipitation is fairly constant throughout the year, but winter precipitation stored as snowpack is a major contributor to spring runoff to the lakes.
Evaporation from the land and water surfaces depends on solar radiation, on temperature differences between the air mass and the water, and on humidity and wind. Evaporation from the Great Lakes is greatest in the fall and early winter when the air above the lakes is cold and dry and the lakes are relatively warm. Conversely, the evaporation is least in the spring and early summer when the air above the lakes is warm and moist and the lakes are cold. Condensation to the lake surface may result instead of evaporation. On the Great Lakes, the average annual evaporation from the lake surface is almost equivalent to the average annual precipitation onto the lake surface.
Groundwater is believed to be a minor component in adding or removing water from the lakes.
Ice retardation in the winter, when the flows in the outlet rivers of the Great Lakes are often impeded by ice formation or ice jams, and aquatic growth during the summer also have an effect on outlet flows and hence lake levels.
Tides, which are the periodic rise and fall of the water resulting from the gravitational interactions of the sun, moon, and earth, are only a few centimetres in the Great Lakes and are masked by larger fluctuations caused by meteorological disturbances.
Crustal uplift (isostatic rebound) since the last glaciation may tilt the basin and/or change the elevation of the outlet channels and have a long-term effect on lake levels.
Superimposed on this annual cycle of water levels and the multi-year fluctuation in supplies are meteorological disturbances causing short-term fluctuations over time frames ranging from hours to days. If there is a difference in atmospheric pressure over a body of water, the water level will be lower under the area of high pressure and higher under the area of low pressure. In the absence of other forces, the water surface slopes to adjust to the differences in atmospheric pressure along the surface. The term wind set-up refers to the slope of the water surface in the direction of the wind stress; the water level at the downwind end of the lake will rise. The difference in water level between the two ends of the lake depends on the length, shape and depth of the lake and the duration, direction and speed of the wind; the change in water level is greatest when a strong wind blows over a long, shallow lake for a long time. Storm surges are pronounced increases in the water level associated with the passage of storms. Although most of the change is a direct result of atmospheric pressure and wind set-up, the storm traveling over the water surface can cause a long surface wave to travel with it. The change in water level caused by these disturbances may be more pronounced in certain parts of a lake as a result of shoaling water, of funneling by shoreline configuration or of a gradually sloping inshore bottom which reduces the reverse sub-surface flow.
Likes: Opie


Registered User
Mar 1, 2017
The Beach Strip
News from around the lake

Carousel opening sandbagged as water levels rise
Again lake flooding delays start of historic attraction
News 07:12 PM by Karena Walter The St. Catharines Standard

Sandbags have been installed around the carousel in Port Dalhousie. The Victoria Day opening has been delayed. - Bob Tymczyszyn , Torstar
High water levels on Lake Ontario are pushing back the traditional Victoria Day weekend opening of the Lakeside Park Carousel for the second time in three years.
The historic carousel in Port Dalhousie has been surrounded by sandbags as parts of the park it sits in are under water.

Entire story can be found here

Port Dalhousie trying to stave off rising water levels
News 01:51 PM by Mike Zettel Niagara This Week - St. Catharines

Members of the Dalhousie Yacht Club were busy piling sandbags this week to prevent damage to the building from waves. Pictured are (front to back) Paul Fagan, Jim White, Dave Bellhouse, Larisa Fry and Leigh Brown. - Mike Zettel/Torstar

Dalhousie Yacht Club's Paul Fagan said members are pleading with boaters to use caution when heading in and out of the harbour. - Mike Zettel/Torstar

Fencing has been installed along the east pier, much of which is under water. - Mike Zettel/Torstar

Much of the beach at Lakeside Park was flooded this week. - Mike Zettel/Torstar

Sandbags have been piled around the historic Lakeside Park Carousel. - Mike Zettel/Torstar

Despite the pooling, crews working on the Port Dalhousie pier restoration were still out Monday. - Mike Zettel/Torstar

The pathway along the beach was under water this week. - Mike Zettel/Torstar
The spring of 2017 is on people’s minds again, and all eyes are on Port Dalhousie to see if the unprecedented flooding seen that year returns.
Entire story can be found here

Surging Lake Ontario approaching record water levels seen in 2017
Water levels in Lake Ontario are creeping up toward record numbers seen in 2017, when chunks of the city’s shoreline were flooded and washed away.
trails now closed because of flooding
CBC News · Posted: May 14, 2019 5:33 PM ET | Last Updated: May 14

The Royal Botanical Gardens says that due to rising lake levels, more low-lying trails may be flooded in these areas: Desjardin/Waterfront Trail, Spring Garden Rd, Grindstone Marsh, Marsh Walk Boardwalk, Chegwin Trail, Anishinaabe Waadiziwin Trail, Captain Cootes Trail, and Spencer Creek Trail. (Royal Botanical Gardens)
Water levels in Lake Ontario are creeping up toward record numbers seen in 2017, when chunks of the city's shoreline were flooded and washed away.

High water and erosion has already forced the closure of sections of the Waterfront Trail along the Beach Strip and near Confederation Park, the city says — and it appears the water could remain there well into the summer, leaving well-loved Hamilton trails underwater.
"It could be mid-July before we see a consistent decline in water levels in the lake," said Jonathan Bastien, who handles water resources engineering for the Hamilton Conservation Authority.

entire story can be found here


Staff member
Feb 15, 2004
The Beach Strip
Posted with permission from the Hamilton Spectator

Rising water, storm surges closing multiple sections of Hamilton’s waterfront trail system
Lake Ontario is creeping up toward record water levels that drowned Hamilton beaches and trails in 2017.
May 14, 2019 by Matthew Van Dongen The Hamilton Spectator

Waves crash onto the pier near the lift bridge May 13. - Barry Gray,The Hamilton Spectator

The city has set up an emergency pumping station on flood-prone Bayside Street off of the beach strip to deal with anticipated rising lake levels/forecasted rain. It basically turns an old gravity sewer — which doesn't work with high lake levels — into a temporary force-main to push neighbourhood floodwater under QEW and into harbour. This area was hit hardest for basement flooding in 2017. - Barry Gray , The Hamilton Spectator

The City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Conservation Authority have closed sections of the Waterfront Trail along Lake Ontario due to flooding and erosion caused by high water levels May 13. - Handout photo , The Hamilton Spectator
9 / 13
Storm surges and rising water levels have now closed parts of Hamilton's waterfront trail along both the harbour and Lake Ontario.
The latest closures come along a storm-drowned section of the Waterfront Trail east of Wild Waterworks and near a wave-chomped hole under the "Breezeway" trail near the Burlington lift bridge. Wild waves pushed by northeasterly winds pounded the shoreline this weekend as well as Monday.
The city has also been fighting a losing battle against rising water in Cootes Paradise which has repeatedly swamped a low-lying section of trail near the Desjardins Canal.

Sand bags are being piled higher and higher along the popular walking and cycling path, but the lowest section was again underwater this weekend.

On the low-lying beach strip, the city has set up a mobile pumping station at the end of flood-prone Bayside Street to help push excess water under the QEW and into the harbour.
The beach community suffered months of basement and crawl space flooding during record high water levels in 2017, but so far this year only a handful of homeowners have complained to the city.
Lake Ontario has surged to within a foot of record water levels set in 2017 and federal regulators that control outflow into the St. Lawrence River have warned levels will likely continue to rise through May.
Climbing water levels are partly due to heavy snowmelt and rain in the Great Lake basin this spring. But regulators have also slowed the flow out of Lake Ontario via a dam in Cornwall to give relief to badly flooded neighbourhoods downriver in Montreal.
Some upset lakeside property owners have also pointed to finger at a new joint U.S.-Canadian plan to regulate Lake Ontario levels and outflows, dubbed Plan 2014, which is meant to help restore coastal ecosystems.
More to come.


Registered User
Mar 1, 2017
The Beach Strip
Good morning

Friday May 17th, the average level is at 75.795 M

Per Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Since 2008, the May lake level average has been 75.10 M
The average lake level for May 2017 was 75.80 M
Surface water temperature by the lift bridge is 40 F

Next reading date is: Friday May 24th, 2019

Reading date / Lake Average 2019
May 03 – 75.51
Apr 29 – 75.41
Apr 12 – 75.10
Mar 29 – 75.018
Mar 15 – 75.0
Mar 08 – 74.97
Feb 22 – 75.00
Feb 08 – 74.96
Jan 25 – 74.88
Jan 11 – 74.81
Reading date / Lake Average 2018
Dec 28 – 74.78
Dec 14 – 74.72
Nov 30 – 74.696
Nov 16 – 74.68
Nov 02 – 74.67
Oct 19 – 74.614
Oct 05 – 74.72
Sept 21 – 74.785
Sept 07 – 74.86
Aug 24 – 74.91
Aug 10 – 74.98
Jul 30 – 75.12
Jul 13 – 75.129
Jun 29 – 75.228
Jun 15 – 75.25
Jun 01 – 75.33
May 18 – 75.35
May 04 – 75.23
Apr 20 – 75.08
Apr 06 – 74.97
Mar 23 – 74.918
Mar 09 – 74.99
Feb 23 – 74.973
Feb 09 – 74.90
Jan 26 – 74.95
Jan 12 – 74.81 M
Reading date / Lake Average 2017
Dec 27 – 74.71 M
Dec 08 – 74.795
Nov 24 – 74.89
Nov 09 – 74.929
Oct 27 – 74.83
Oct 10 – 74.95
Sept 29 – 74.99
Sept 15 – 75.12
Sept 01 – 75.28
Aug 18 - 75.47
Aug 04 - 75.6
July 22 - 75.71

Updated forecast for 2019 & Experimental 5 year forecast from the Army Corps of Engineers.

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