Current Conditions

as of July 19, 2024 10:55pm
0.0 in | 73.9° F | 80.4° F | WNW 0.4 MPH gust to 0.4 MPH | 98.78' above sea level

Water Quality News for January 24, 2024

Our refill is going well this winter, and we should be full before the February 15 fill date from the 2021 refill. We had a fast start to our refill with a lot of rain in early December, but it slowed a bit the latter part of the month, dipping below the 2021 line, but our wet January is catching us up again. With the forecast for a wet weekend and potentially wetter system coming through next week we will be full soon.

Refill graph for current drawdown (orange) and last drawdown (grey) showing the lake level. Current precipitation is shown as blue bars, with the rainfall amounts shown on the right y-axis.

While it has been a wet January, some of that moisture came in the form of snow and ice. The ice storm of January 18 brought the equivalent of an inch of rain to the lake, but it was very cold so it froze on the streets and trees. The consequence was a lot of downed trees, closed roads, and power outages. Fortunately the LOC office did not lose power, but others were not so lucky.

From about January 13 to 18 the low temperature was below freezing, with the lowest being 13.6 degrees on January 14, with wind gusts of over 30 mph. The next day there were wind gusts of over 50 mph so with the ice load and wind the trees had a lot working against their vertical orientation.

Chart showing rainfall and air temperature range. The blue columns are rainfall, referencing the left y-axis. The shaded portion is the daily temperature range, referencing the right y-axis. The dashed blue line is the freezing temperature.

As with all the winter storms our Operations crew have been busy cleaning up the aftermath. There were trees down in the middle of the lake and one in Kelok Bay. Trees are easiest to remove by towing them to the marina so they can be taken out at the boat ramp. Fortunately the lake is full enough to float them the entire way, but it is still slow going.

One of several trees that fell into the lake. We pull them out the ramp and cut them up for disposal.

The cold weather did create some interesting ice sculptures due to blowing water and springs that seep from the south shoreline. These pictures were taken after the coldest weather had passed, but the ice remained. Some of these locations would have had ice well into their yard if the lake had not been drawn down.

Finally, although most of the ice is off the lake, Lakewood Bay is still holding on to a layer. There were reports of folks walking around on the ice during the coldest weather, and fortunately there were no instances of ice breakage but it is risky behavior nonetheless. The bay was holding onto some fog the morning of January 24 as the cold ice condensed water vapor, creating a bit of a spooky appearance.

Lakewood Bay the morning of January 24.

Hopefully the coldest weather is past us, but I don’t want it so warm it starts melting mountain snow this early. Our next system is forecast to bring heavy rain so the lake will fill quickly, and we may even have a chance to generate power by February.

Be careful out there and enjoy the last week of January.

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