A particularly strong rain and windstorm Tuesday night caused the waves in Lake Superior to reach 14.5 feet off the North Entry of the Portage Waterway near Houghton. The water temperature also dropped a dramatic 20 degrees from the surface of the big lake to the bottom.
Guy Meadows, director of the Great Lakes Research Center, is calling it “The Big Superior Storm.”
“I am continually amazed at how fast this big lake changes,” Meadows said. “This not only includes how fast it responds to the wind in generating very large waves, but also how fast its temperature changes in response to storm forcing—like 20 degrees in the past day—but also how fast it responded to last winter’s big chill.”
Meadows and his team of Great Lakes Research Center scientists are studying Lake Superior, its physical, biological and meteorological characteristics. They bring the expertise of many disciplines to their research; there are engineers who are doing biology and biologists who are doing engineering.
Their goal is to understand the rate and magnitude of changes in the Great Lakes so that engineers can design physical structures like pipelines and bridges appropriately.
For more on Lake Superior and other Great Lakes research being conducted at Michigan Tech, see Great Lakes Research Center.
See a video clip of the Waves