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Kentucky Lake & Lake Barkley Levels

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Right Now:  overcast with an air temperature of 28° at Kentucky Lake. Get detailed current weather, radar, and hourly forecasts.

Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley Levels & Conditions

Conditions as of noon 11/15/2018 Upper Lower Water

Kentucky Lake

Water Clarity:
Some Light Stain

Current:   126,165 cfs / Strong

Last 48 Hours

357.1'
0.2'▼

Change

+2.8'

Normal

320.1'
1.1'▲

Change

+18.1

Normal

51°

Lake Barkley

Water Clarity:
Stained

Current:   63,600 cfs / Above Average

Last 48 Hours

357.1'
0.2'▼

Change

+2.8'

Normal

324.8'
1.4'▲

Change

+22.8

Normal

Normal

354.3'
302.0'
58°

Special Lake Information & Notices

First Snowfall of the Season

An early season winter storm moved in Wednesday afternoon bringing freezing rain, sleet and snow to the Kentucky Lake area. 1.3" of snow and sleet with a thin glaze of freezing rain was observed at our office between Murray and Aurora.

Warmer weather will move in for the weekend with highs expected to be in the mid 50s by Saturday.
Forecast Kentucky Upper Kentucky Flow Barkley Upper Barkley Flow
Today 5:00pm 357.1' 126,450 cfs 357.0' 63,600 cfs
11:00pm 357.0' 125,920 cfs 356.9' 63,600 cfs
11/16 5:00am 357.0' 125,600 cfs 356.9' 63,000 cfs
11:00am 357.0' 125,420 cfs 356.9' 63,000 cfs
5:00pm 357.0' 125,250 cfs 356.9' 63,000 cfs
11:00pm 357.0' 125,070 cfs 356.9' 63,000 cfs
11/17 5:00am 357.0' 124,990 cfs 356.9' 63,000 cfs
11:00am 357.0' 124,960 cfs 356.9' 63,000 cfs
5:00pm 356.9' 124,940 cfs 356.9' 63,000 cfs
11:00pm 356.9' 124,910 cfs 356.9' 63,000 cfs
11/18 5:00am 356.9' 124,890 cfs 356.9' 63,000 cfs
11:00am 356.9' 124,860 cfs 356.9' 63,000 cfs
5:00pm 356.9' 124,840 cfs 356.8' 63,000 cfs
11:00pm 356.9' 124,810 cfs 356.8' 63,000 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
Reflections
Photo by Angela Smith

Everything in nature is a reflection of everything. Calm evenings on Kentucky Lake produces a stunning mirror image of nature.