Current temperature of Lake Erie
The Great Lakes water temperatures are surging warmer in response to this summer's heat. The rate of warming and the warm air temperatures expected in the next week could warm some of the Great Lakes to temperatures warmer than in 2012.
The graphs above show how quickly Lake Superior and Lake Michigan are warming on the surface.
Here are the current lake-wide average surface temperatures:
Lake Superior - 65.8deg
Lake Michigan - 74.0deg
Lake Huron - 71.6deg
Lake Erie - 78.5deg
Lake Ontario - 74.9deg
The last much-warmer-than-normal summer in Michigan was 2012. The water temperatures now are running right with the water temperatures back in 2012. If the warmer than normal temperatures continue, and they look like they will, this year could have warmer water temperatures than 2012 on all of the Great Lakes.
Lake Superior is now 0.6deg warmer than 2012. Lake Michigan is at the same temperature as this day back in 2012. Lake Huron is 1.0deg warmer than 2012. Lake Erie is over one degree warmer than 2012. Lake Ontario is still 0.8deg colder than 2012.
The fast rate of warming should continue for the next week. The six to 10 day temperature forecast and the eight to 14 day temperature forecast both call for warmer than normal temperatures.
Does warm water influence Michigan?
Great Lakes water temperatures do influence Michigan's winter. First, a warm body of water will moderate the temperatures of any early season cold. So you could expect help with avoiding early fall frosts. Also, if a cold blob of air moves south out of Canada in November or early December, the cold air will be modified and warmed as it travels over Lakes Superior and Michigan.
On the other hand, if the water stays warmer than normal into December and January, it could boost lake effect snow amounts. We would need cold air to move in from the north. If that large temperature difference between warm water and cold air exists, get out the shovels in the snowbelts.