Warm Water in the Great Lakes

August 9th, 2010 |

Recent news articles (such as this one) have noted the unusual warmth present in the surface waters of the Great Lakes. Clear skies over the western Great Lakes on Sunday 8 August allowed MODIS instruments to measure sea surface temperatures, and the warm temperatures are plain to see. These warm temperatures have persisted for some time, and 5-day plots for the Buoy in central Lake Michigan (buoy 45007), northern Lake Michigan (buoy 45002), and the center of Lake Superior (buoy 45001) all confirm the MODIS readings: unusual warmth in the Lakes. In fact, many of the lake surface temperature readings are near the top of the 4th quartile in the statistical distribution (see data here for buoy 45001 and here for buoy 45007).

Data from the AVHRR on board the NOAA series of satellites show similarly warm temperatures. Here is an afternoon image from NOAA-19 from 8 August.