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Kentucky Lake & Lake Barkley Levels

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Right Now:  mostly cloudy with an air temperature of 81° at Kentucky Lake. Get detailed current weather, radar, and hourly forecasts.

Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley Levels & Conditions

Conditions as of 4 PM 8/18/2018 Upper Lower Water

Kentucky Lake

Water Clarity:
Generally Clear

Current:   33,303 cfs / Average

Last 48 Hours

356.9'
0.2'▼

Change

+0.1'

Normal

303.1'
1.5'▲

Change

+1.1

Normal

85°

Lake Barkley

Water Clarity:
Some Stain

Current:   18,200 cfs / Average

Last 48 Hours

357.0'
0.1'▼

Change

+0.2'

Normal

306.0'
1.3'▲

Change

+4.0

Normal

Normal

356.8'
302.0'
84°

Special Lake Information & Notices

Stay safe on the water!
Forecast Kentucky Upper Kentucky Flow Barkley Upper Barkley Flow
Today 4:00pm 357.0' 35,670 cfs 357.0' 18,000 cfs
10:00pm 356.9' 39,000 cfs 356.9' 18,000 cfs
8/19 4:00am 356.9' 39,000 cfs 356.9' 18,000 cfs
10:00am 357.0' 39,000 cfs 357.0' 18,000 cfs
4:00pm 356.9' 39,000 cfs 356.9' 18,000 cfs
10:00pm 356.9' 39,000 cfs 356.9' 18,000 cfs
8/20 4:00am 356.9' 39,000 cfs 356.9' 18,000 cfs
10:00am 357.0' 39,000 cfs 357.0' 18,000 cfs
4:00pm 356.9' 39,000 cfs 356.8' 18,000 cfs
10:00pm 356.8' 39,000 cfs 356.8' 18,000 cfs
8/21 4:00am 356.7' 39,000 cfs 356.8' 18,000 cfs
10:00am 356.7' 39,000 cfs 356.7' 18,000 cfs
4:00pm 356.6' 39,000 cfs 356.6' 18,000 cfs
10:00pm 356.6' 39,000 cfs 356.6' 18,000 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
  • 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

Elk
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

When exploring the Elk and Bison Prairie in The Land Between The Lakes, it's always exciting to catch a glimpse of a bull like this one!