Grand Haven, MI (WZZM) - In spite of the abnormally warm and dry start to the summer season, August is off to a very wet start.
For West Michigan, we're actually running above average for precipitation so far this month.
But, all of that rain takes a while to make its way to Lake Michigan. Compared with last year, lake levels are drastically different.
The US Army Corps of Engineers is in charge of maintaining ports on the Great Lakes.
They also keep track of water levels and how those levels impact our local ports.
Tom O'Bryan, Area Engineer with the US Army Corps of Engineers said, "We're about seven inches below the same time as last year, and that's primarily due to the lack of precipitation that we've had over the summertime."
O'Bryan explained that one inch less of water for a 650 foot vessel equals roughly one hundred tons of cargo.
That means, "... if there's more water, then the freighters can come in with a little heavier load and if there's less water, below the low water datum then they gotta load their vessels a little lighter" said O'Bryan.
Check out marinetraffic.com to track vessels on the Great Lakes.