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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Memo: From the desk of the unofficial NCangler.com amateur hydrologist...

I've been watching the Falls Lake level data for the last couple days to see how much of the drought got erased by our rains last week. I was most curious to see how far back on the drought calendar those rains pushed us.

Here's the Falls analysis, using data at these two links (and assuming I'm comparing apples to apples between the two charts):
falls 180 days: http://epec.saw.usace.army.mil/dss180f.txt
falls realtime: http://epec.saw.usace.army.mil/dssfalls.txt

The crest at the dam since the rain was 243.71 yesterday at noon, up from a drought low of 242.77 last week. It appears to have crested this afternoon and is starting to drop again, but given that the feeders are all feeding again it shouldn't drop at the rate that it had been before the rains. And it appears that they've also cut the outflow from the dam since the rains. So the rain we got last week amounted to almost a foot of water level in the reservoir, and took us back to an elevation where we were on October 11. It wiped out about 2.5 weeks of drought, plus the continuing benefits of improved inflow & decreased outflow, at least for a little while. That's not as much calendar impact as I would have guessed, but with the differences in flow affecting the equation over time, it may be a little better than I think it is.

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Same review for Jordan:
jordan 180 days: http://epec.saw.usace.army.mil/dss180j.txt
jordan realtime: http://epec.saw.usace.army.mil/dssjord.txt

Jordan seems to be doing better than Falls. Its up to 212.33 from a recent low of 210.21, and is still rising according to the realtime data. 212.33 puts it back where it was on September 5th, which is 7 weeks worth of drought depletion. Jordan hasn't the changed outflow rate for a couple weeks.

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That's how I read it. I haven't been watching the news, so this may be old news. Or it could be bogus based on errors in my amateurish application of hydrological data. If somebody sees something different in the data or knows something different, please point it out. Thanks!!
 

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Sounds about right. I was just checking Kerr lake's levels, back over 295 and still rising, so maybe a few of the closed ramps will reopen. Hopefully the Corps will let the water stay in the lake to maintain winter level. This is up almost 3 feet over the level before the rain started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here's an update based on the most recent data.

Falls has dropped about 6 inches since its peak on Oct 28th, down to 243.24. The continued inflow after the rain and the reduced outflow at the dam have helped slow the rate of depletion to around half what it was before. We're running at about where we were on Oct 16, which is a little over 3 weeks worth of drought calendar time.

Jordan continued to climb for a couple more days until Nov 1 where peaked at 212.58, and was at 212.41 yesterday (about 2 inches down from the peak). That puts it about where it was on the 4th of September which erased over 2 months of drought.

No great news for the triangle fish habitat, seasonal fishing patterns, boat ramps or Raleigh city water customers. But it has bought Cary water customers a few months of buffer.

Kerr peaked on the 4th of november at 295.82, and is currently sitting at it August 24th level of 295.70. Its up over 3 feet from its low in October. That's not shabby.
 
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