WGVA 106.3FM 1240AMMix 98.5101.7 The WallWFLR Finger Lakes Country Classic Hits 99.3The Lake 100.1/104.5 WAUB 96.3FM 1590AM

Lake Ontario Water Levels Continue to Rise


A wet weather system has remained over the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River basin for several days. The jet stream is expected to finally move the weather system east by late Friday. The persistent rain and runoff from the system continue to cause water levels in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to rise. Lake levels are largely dependent on inflows received from Mother Nature, namely precipitation, which is very unpredictable more than a few days in advance.

Lake Ontario levels have been rising at a rate of approximately 0.4-0.6 inches per day and reached 247.11 feet Thursday. Continued wet weather and runoff from the recent rains may result in flooding of vulnerable areas along the Lake Ontario shoreline as well as downstream along the St. Lawrence River, including Lake St. Louis and Lake St. Pierre.

At this time, the water levels of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River are expected to remain above the long-term average but below the record highs observed in 2017 and 2019, and below the record high observed in Lake Ontario this same week in 1973 ( 248.39 ft.)

In addition to increased runoff into Lake Ontario, outflows from the Ottawa River and other tributaries into the St. Lawrence River have increased substantially in the past several days due to the widespread major rainfall. The International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board is closely monitoring the situation. The Lake Ontario outflow into the St. Lawrence River continues to be adjusted in accordance with Plan 2014. Flow adjustments are made daily in accordance with the F limit which considers both upstream and downstream conditions.

Updates will be provided next week and as conditions change.  Forecasts of Lake Ontario water levels for the next several months are updated weekly at https://ijc.org/en/loslrb/watershed/forecasts

Get the top stories on your radio 24/7 on Finger Lakes News Radio 96.3 and 1590, WAUB and 106.3 and 1240, WGVA, and on Finger Lakes Country, 96.1/96.9/101.9/1570 WFLR.