Large-Scale Storm Damage on the U.S. Shores of the Great Lakes

James Randal Angel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Storm Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provides a data set for examining the spatial and temporal distribution of storm damage caused by large-scale, cyclonic storms on the U.S. shoreline of the Great Lakes for the period 1959–1990. On average, damage reports are much more frequent during high lake levels. Seasonally, the number reaches a maximum in November, declines during the winter months, and reaches a secondary maximum in April. This decrease in the winter months may be due to the protective ice cover on the lakes. Although Michigan received the most damage reports, Illinois, New York, and Ohio have a higher density of reports. Lake Erie and Lake Michigan are most frequently mentioned in the reports. A comparison of dollar losses shows that 1984 and 1985 were by far the costliest years since 1959. Comparison with a similar high-water period in the mid-1970s suggests that shorelines were much more vulnerable to storm damage in the mid-1980s when water levels were higher.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-293
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Great Lakes Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


  • Storms
  • damage
  • flooding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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