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pmflyfisher 02-07-2003 08:41 AM

GL Drought & Water Level - Update

Not good, and confirms what I read a week ago of the predictions for a prolonged GL drought through out the spring it appears.


removed_by_request 02-07-2003 09:32 AM

We were only below 1" or our average rainfall for last year, hardly a drought.

The problem we have is that it rains/snows all in one big shot instead of meterd amounts.

pmflyfisher 02-07-2003 10:24 AM

Thats not what every one else is saying and not just the one who wrote that article.

Start your rain dance and prayers now.

Check out what the farmers are saying also

Pm Out

BobK 02-07-2003 11:15 AM

Reasonable comments....
That's a great source, Hal - the farmers. That's like believing in woodchucks ("groundhogs" if they are forecasters) for length of winter!

The farmers always have a rough time. Either drought or floods. Not knocking their ability, but I don't think forecasting weather is one of them.

I realize that things are very dry in the midwest, but here, near Lake Ontario, we are getting more than our share. (22 degrees out, and snowing - yet!)

When I went trib fishing on a forecast "nice day" (lousy forecast) earlier this week, big flocks of ROBINS were feeding at the road's edge, where the snow had melted (from the salt). I could either believe that they were a sign of early spring (fat chance), or suicidal (more probable)!



pmflyfisher 02-07-2003 11:37 AM

I don't need any more external empirical evidence to confirm we are in a drought situation here in the Western GLs, I know it.

Pm Out

Lipripper 02-07-2003 01:11 PM

For sure our water levels are down. Both in the rivers and in the big lake. Not as much of an issue on rivers like the PM cause it's so sensitive to any amount of precip. that we get. Plus they are right in a lake effect snow belt. They will have a good spring runoff....they almost always do. I am more worried about bigger water....the Grand, the Mo, the Joe...ect.... Those watersheds need some water.....bad.

removed_by_request 02-07-2003 01:24 PM

We had a little less precip. last year than our average. 1" and some tenths less. Look at 01-01-2003's Tribune. They have the total amount.

They had floods on the North and side side in August and April.

Our rain comes all at once not in measured amounts.

It is too early to tell what our rain fall will be like this year.

silverdoc 02-07-2003 05:05 PM

GL drought
When the headwaters sections of Class 1 wild trout streams are freezing up, it's not only cold, we're in a serious drought:(
Yeah, it's been colder than a well digger's arse, but if spring flows were normal, these creeks would be running. I've been fishing this area for over 50 years, including a 19 year January 1st special season, & have never seen conditions like this.
I'm doing my best rain dance, & hope we don't have a repeat of the '88-'92 drought.

pmflyfisher 02-08-2003 06:56 PM

Silverdoc (Bob)

Thanks for the wisconsin confirmation, same in Indiana and Michigan rivers. I have been in the Chicago?South Bend area since 1979 and do not ever recall a summer, fall, and winter in succession this dry.

Lets keep praying for lots of rain by March otherwise I will may be heading to south to florida for some spring salt water fly fishing to visit family.


PM Out

removed_by_request 02-08-2003 09:18 PM

The greater Chicago land area wa 1.35" under the average last year. May of 2002 was one of the 5 wettest in Illinois.

Our problem was and still is not getting metered amounts of rain.

Baldwin is blanketed with snow, The Berrian area of I 94 just (Friday) had a blizzard and is covered. The UP has it's normal snow pack. East coast is rocked with snow.

Our little part of the world is not. Its all around us, most likely reason is the green house gasses from the metropolis we live in.

Give it time before you start hoarding water and praying for rain, March, April, and May could suprise us.

Worst low water was 1988, many people died that summer due to heat stroke.

removed_by_request 02-08-2003 09:22 PM

Just in case, here are last years stats for May.

For Immediate Release May 31, 2002
May 2002, One of the Wettest, Coldest Mays since 1895! Source:
Contact: Jim Angel - (217) 333-0729, Fax: (217) 244-0220,
Eva Kingston - (217) 244-7270, Fax: (217) 333-6540,

"With statewide average rainfall of 7.52 inches (3.26 inches and 77 percent above average) and temperature of 58F (4.6F below average), May 2002 is the eighth wettest, coldest May on record in Illinois since 1895," says State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (, a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Figure 1. May 2002 Precipitation (inches).
(Click to Enlarge Image)
"The heaviest precipitation in May fell in an area roughly bounded by Interstates 72 and 70 (see figure). This is the fourth wettest April-May period in Illinois since 1895 with 12.72 inches of rainfall (4.65 inches and 58 percent of average). With year-to-date precipitation of 20.51 inches (5.02 inches and 33 percent above average) statewide, it's also the ninth wettest January-May period since 1895," states Angel.

While the widespread flooding experienced in Illinois may lead to comparisons with 1993, the timing was different. The April-May rainfall for 1993 was 8.48 inches, 0.55 inches above average, but much less than this year. The flooding in 1993 was more of a summer event with the July-August rainfall of that year at 18.34 inches (6.80 inches and 59 percent above average), the wettest on record since 1895.

Several locations received more than a foot of rain in May. Beecher City reported 12.82 inches, Lovington reported 12.48 inches, Hardin reported 12.47 inches, and Medora reported 12.21 inches. Beecher City also reported the most precipitation for the April-May period, 19.69 inches, almost half the average annual precipitation in Effingham County.

All this cool, wet weather in April and May led to flooding and planting delays throughout the state. Even corn planted before the wet weather has progressed slowly. Ironically, delays in planting and crop development meant that little damage was reported when record low temperatures occurred in northern Illinois on May 21: 31F in Chicago, 29F in Rockford, 30F in Freeport, and 25F in Streamwood).

In addition to heavy rainfall, May also had its share of severe weather. A tornado in Centralia resulted in two deaths and 15 serious injuries on May 8. There were numerous reports of hail and wind damage across southern Illinois on May 1, 6, 8, 11, and 12.

Based on historical data back to 1895, wet summers do not necessarily follow wet springs. In fact, there is little correlation between wet springs and summer rainfall. However, warmer-than-average summers are less likely to occur following wet springs.

Don't fret the doom sayers, enjoy the dry roads.

BobK 02-09-2003 07:55 AM

Weather and statistics
Weather is a complex and variable subject. With all of our modern methods, we still can't predict weather accurately on a local basis more than 24 hours in advance with any degree of certainty.

I would like to see statistics applied, with "sigma" limits for all of the variables, as is done in quality control. Results, I am sure, would be astounding for the range we can normally expect!

Averages don't mean much - we really never have an "average" year. There are always "records" being made.

I guess what I am saying is that we do have times of drought, times of floods, times of heat, times of cold, all interspersed with some really nice weather, and that these are normal. I guess that's just part of living in the vicinity of the Great Lakes!

We can lament the current trends, and blame everything from pollution to atomic bombs, and I'm sure the cave men even blamed bows and arrows, but I really don't think that has much to do with it.

If we think we've got it bad, look at the poor farmers! Their destiny rises and falls with the weather - they are a slave to it.


pmflyfisher 02-09-2003 09:45 AM

May 2002 northern indiana and illinois got their last heavy rains true, but for the areas we steelhead fish wisconsin and west michigan that is not the case to my knowledge.

Rain, rain, rain, please soon....

BTW what happened to the projected 30 degree temps this weekend in Chicag0 ? weatherman around here are as predictable as the cubs, which are perennial losers, and yet cubs management keeps their jobs.

PM Out

removed_by_request 02-09-2003 11:34 AM

We seem to have had a touch of rain in our area in August 2k2,

Description of hydrologic event: Torrential rainfall overnight of 4 to 7 inches has been reported in northern Illinois. The rainfall occurred in a band from Dubuque Iowa to north Chicago. Counties affected include Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Winnebago, Boone, northern Cook, Southern Lake, and northern parts of Kendall and Will. The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for these areas until 7 pm this evening. Doppler radar indicates a cell of up to 10 inches of rain fell about 15 miles west of Freeport Illinois. Additional rainfall is expected today.
Local law officials reported many streets in the Freeport area covered with water and closed. Highway 20 west of Freeport was reported closed. It also has been reported that the Edens expressway in Chicago is closed and viaducts and many other roads in Chicago are impassable (NWS).

A World Wide Web page is available.

Our biggest problem last year was rain came all at once, if it would have came in spaced out amounts we would have been better off.

For July we got minimal ran, Sept. was a little off as was Oct., can't control the weather or how the ball in baseball boumces.


You can always be a Sox fan, it would be a closer drive for you. Northside is pretty far from your house.

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