If one inch of rain fell over the surface of Lake Michigan, would its level rise by one inch?

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
If one inch of rain fell over the surface of Lake Michigan, would its level rise by one inch?
Ronald Baltris, Chicago

Dear Ronald,
While considering the improbability of a rain so uniformly distributed across Lake Michigan, the lake would indeed rise by one inch, but the rise would be temporary because of the flow of water between Lakes Michigan and Huron. It is estimated that it would take about two days, transported at the rate on one-half inch per day, to become evenly distributed between the two bodies of water.

However, in the context of the entire water budget of the two lakes, a one-inch rain is a pittance. The U.S. Army of Engineers estimates that the amount of water flowing into the two bodies of water from all sources amounts to as much as 30,000 cubic feet per second.

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