What is the highest water temperature recorded for any of the Great Lakes?

Dear Tom,

What is the highest water temperature recorded for any of the Great Lakes?

Thanks,
Margaret Robertson
Chicago

Dear Margaret,

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) deploys numerous buoys across the Great Lakes, many with searchable data bases that date back to the early 1980s. A search indicated that the highest water temperature recorded at any of the Great Lakes buoys appears to be 86.2 degrees at the NOAA buoy in western Lake Erie, located about 18 miles northwest of Lorraine, Ohio. The reading was recorded on August 2, 1988 in the midst of the infamous hot, drought 1988 summer. The temperature sensor is located about three feet below the lake surface. The highest Lake Michigan temperature of 81.3 degrees was recorded at the southern Lake Michigan mid-lake buoy, about 50 miles east-southeast of Milwaukee, on August 18, 1995.