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Kentucky Lake & Lake Barkley Levels

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Right Now:  mostly cloudy with an air temperature of 77° at Kentucky Lake. Get detailed current weather, radar, and hourly forecasts.

Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley Levels & Conditions

Conditions as of 5 PM 5/19/2019 Upper Lower Water

Kentucky Lake

Water Clarity:
Generally Clear

Current:   68,560 cfs / Above Average

Last 48 Hours

359.7'
0.0'st

Change

+0.7'

Normal

319.7'
0.4'▼

Change

+17.7

Normal

74°

Lake Barkley

Water Clarity:
Stained

Current:   33,300 cfs / Above Average

Last 48 Hours

359.5'
0.0'st

Change

+0.5'

Normal

322.1'
0.3'▼

Change

+20.1

Normal

Normal

359.0'
302.0'
71°

Special Lake Information & Notices

Stay safe out there!
Forecast Kentucky Upper Kentucky Flow Barkley Upper Barkley Flow
Today 4:00pm 359.8' 68,260 cfs 359.5' 33,100 cfs
10:00pm 359.8' 68,190 cfs 359.7' 33,100 cfs
5/20 4:00am 359.8' 68,170 cfs 359.7' 33,100 cfs
10:00am 359.8' 68,170 cfs 359.7' 33,100 cfs
4:00pm 359.8' 59,000 cfs 359.5' 33,100 cfs
10:00pm 359.7' 59,000 cfs 359.6' 33,100 cfs
5/21 4:00am 359.7' 59,000 cfs 359.6' 33,100 cfs
10:00am 359.6' 59,000 cfs 359.6' 33,100 cfs
4:00pm 359.6' 59,000 cfs 359.4' 33,100 cfs
10:00pm 359.5' 59,000 cfs 359.4' 33,100 cfs
5/22 4:00am 359.5' 37,080 cfs 359.4' 13,530 cfs
10:00am 359.5' 45,050 cfs 359.5' 16,650 cfs
4:00pm 359.4' 59,000 cfs 359.3' 40,270 cfs
10:00pm 359.4' 59,000 cfs 359.3' 31,450 cfs

Explanation of Values

Water temperatures are reported from Hancock Biological Station on Ledbetter Bay at Kentucky Lake and are measured at the surface.  Click here for a chart of normal water temps.

Change - this shows the difference in the past 24 hours.

Normal - this shows the departure from normal.

cfs = cubic feet per second, which is the amount of water that is discharged through the dams.

Water Clarity - "stained" means some murkiness or discolor in the lakes.  "Normal" means typical clarity, usually 3-4 feet for Kentucky.  "Muddy" means no clarity at all.

Lake elevation is based on sea-level.  Strength of current is based on the discharge rate at the dams.  Kentucky Lake is much larger than Lake Barkley, so 100,000 cfs at Barkley Dam produces stronger current than 100,000 cfs at Kentucky Dam.  Use this unofficial chart to compare current strengths.

Lake elevations and current forecasts are provided in real-time from TVA and the NWS.

The Kentucky Lake Operating Guide is provided by TVA.

Kentucky Lake Operating Guide

TVA Operating Guide

Normal Lake Stages

  • May 1 - July 1:  Summer Pool - 359.0'
  • Dec. 1 - March 31:  Winter Pool - 354.0'
  • The gray-shaded area in the chart above shows the target lake stages for Kentucky Lake throughout the course of a year.

Kentucky Lake & Lake Barkley Records

  • Kentucky Lake Record High:  372.49' set on May 4, 2011
  • Lake Barkley Record High:  372.49' set on May 4, 2011
  • Kentucky Lake Record Low:  348.02' set on March 11, 1961
  • Lake Barkley Record Low:  352.3' set on April 19, 1982
  • Kentucky Lake Record cfs:  446,000 set in 1944
  • Lake Barkley Record cfs:  303,000 set on May 4, 2011
  • Lake Barkley Lower Record High:  350.8' set on May 4, 2011
  • Kentucky Lake Record High Water Temp:  90.8° set 8/2/11
  • Kentucky Lake Record Low Water Temp:  36.2° set 1/12/2010
Honker Bay
Photo by John Mahler

Honker Bay, located near The Nature Station, is a great place to hike or simply stop to observe a beautiful sunset.