The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says Great Lakes water levels rebounded sharply last year after a prolonged low period dating from the late 1990s.
A report issued Tuesday says Lake Superior rose early two feet, almost twice as much ground as it usually gains during its seasonal rise. The biggest of the lakes exceeded its average net water supply for eight straight months.
Lakes Michigan and Huron rose 20 inches, which also was nearly double their average seasonal rise. It was a strong comeback from January of 2013, when those lakes hit their lowest level ever recorded.
Scientists say heavy evaporation caused by the milder climate and occasional dry spells caused the lengthy decline. Heavy snowfall the past two winters and a wet spring helped the lakes recover.