Explore Kentucky Lake

Lake Conditions
Facebook Twitter Instagram Google YouTube Contact Us About Us
Switch Mobile/Desktop

Kentucky Lake & Lake Barkley Levels

Home | Kentucky Lake Conditions

Right now it's fair with an air temperature of 30° at Kentucky Lake. Get detailed current weather, radar, and hourly forecasts.

Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley Levels & Conditions

Conditions as of 5 AM 12/11/2017 Upper Lower Water

Kentucky Lake

Water Clarity:
Generally Clear

Current:   29,234 cfs / Low

354.5'
0.1'▼

Change

+0.5'

Normal

302.7'
1.6'▲

Change

+0.7

Normal

49°

Lake Barkley

Water Clarity:
Some Stain

Current:   19,000 cfs / Average

354.5'
0.1'▲

Change

+0.5'

Normal

305.5'
0.8'▲

Change

+3.5

Normal

Normal

354.0'
302.0'
50°

Special Lake Information & Notices

Winter pool has arrived. Watch for obstacles in the water, especially on Lake Barkley.
Forecast Kentucky Upper Kentucky Flow Barkley Upper Barkley Flow
Today 1:00am 354.7' 29,000 cfs 354.6' 18,500 cfs
7:00am 354.6' 29,000 cfs 354.6' 18,500 cfs
1:00pm 354.6' 29,000 cfs 354.6' 18,500 cfs
7:00pm 354.6' 29,000 cfs 354.6' 18,500 cfs
12/12 1:00am 354.7' 29,000 cfs 354.6' 18,500 cfs
7:00am 354.6' 29,000 cfs 354.6' 18,500 cfs
1:00pm 354.6' 29,000 cfs 354.6' 18,500 cfs
7:00pm 354.6' 29,000 cfs 354.6' 18,500 cfs
12/13 1:00am 354.6' 29,000 cfs 354.6' 18,500 cfs
7:00am 354.6' 29,000 cfs 354.6' 18,500 cfs
1:00pm 354.6' 29,000 cfs 354.6' 18,500 cfs
7:00pm 354.6' 29,000 cfs 354.6' 18,500 cfs
12/14 1:00am 354.6' 29,000 cfs 354.6' 18,500 cfs
7:00am 354.6' 29,000 cfs 354.6' 18,500 cfs

Explanation of Values

Water temperatures are reported from Murray State University and TVA.  Normal water temperatures are based on historical fishing reports and normal air temperatures.  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:  92° set 7/24/16

Racoons
Photo by Teresa Gemeinhardt

These two brothers are playing hide and seek with the photographer in this picture taken in Land Between The Lakes.