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updated: 3/5/2014 9:14 PM

Snow, ice cover will boost Great Lakes levels

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  • This satellite image shows the ice cover on the Great Lakes.

      This satellite image shows the ice cover on the Great Lakes.
    Courtesy of NOAA Great Lakes CoastWatch

 
Associated Press

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Federal officials say this winter's deep freeze and heavy snowfall will help nudge Great Lakes water levels closer to normal over the next six months.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said lots of water is stored in the huge snowpack that will melt this spring. The water content in the snow piled up around Lake Michigan is 30 percent higher than at any other time in the last decade.

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Just 14 months ago, Lakes Michigan and Huron slumped to their lowest levels ever recorded.

Hydrologist Keith Kompoltowicz said water levels are determined largely by evaporation rates as well as snow and rain.

Heavy ice cover has slowed evaporation this winter, while the snowfall is continuing a wet period that began last year.

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