Monday, June 03, 2019

May 2019 Lake Levels and Flow Rates

As I mentioned in my last post, there really is nothing special about May's data. An remarkably brief opening of the flood gates at Bagnell Dam hardly shows up as anything one would notice unless you knew where to look.

I do have to point out a rather impressive display of control here for reaching a target level of 659-660 just before Memorial weekend. The lake was brought up from a monthly low of 655.63 to 659 in one week without any "overshoot" despite flow rates at maximum generating capacity (represented by a daily total flow of about 25 billion gallons) AND in coordination with Truman Dam. Although it looks like from the graph that someone realized at the last minute that the lake was about four feet shy of normal pool level for the holiday weekend and played catch up. Tip of the hat to Ameren management on that one. 

Now that we're heading out of the spring draw down and back to summer levels I figure it's a good time to put out the monthly summary chart so far for the year as well.

Again, a fairly unremarkable chart, one that fits well into the curve guide.

And finally for those that just want to see the details for hourly levels and flow.

That little spike on the 21 above 40,000cfs represents the brief opening of the flood gates.

Friday, May 31, 2019

2019 Flooding

I'll be posting my monthly graph of lake levels and flow rates for the Lake of the Ozarks tomorrow, or Monday, but as you will see despite the high water levels in other lakes and rivers, the Lake of the Ozarks is operating at normal levels. How can this be you may ask?

What's so special about the Lake that it is spared the ravages of flooding while the Osage and Missouri Rivers flood and Truman Lake is busting at the seams?

With the 30 day outlook calling for a wetter than normal June, things may not improve much.

The answer as to why the Lake of the Ozarks seems out of step with other bodies of water in the area is not a simple one, but it is important. It has everything to do with the very different purposes for which the two dams, Truman and Bagnell were built, who controls them, and the river basins they serve. I've spent a little time explaining it here if you're interested.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

April 2019 Lake Levels and Flow Rates

A very unremarkable April chart for a change. Usually spring rains bring dramatic changes in lake levels during April but it waited until the last minute this year when it went out with a bang. The lake rose over 1 foot in 24 hours on April 30 due to stormy weather. A surprisingly steady flow over 15,000cfs throughout the month.

And the detailed chart below.

Nikola Wav - The First Electric Wetbike

It would seem the time is here. It was inevitable that someone would try to design, produce, and sell an all electric wet-bike and the electric vehicle company Nikola has done it. At lest to the point where you can get on a waiting list (for free no less!)

Nikola (as in Nikola Tesla, but not as in Tesla vehicles) has been making ATV style electric vehicles for some time with promise that a water sport vehicle was coming. Well, it's here. There are a lot of questions I have as an armchair boat designer and engineer, not the least of which is how do make an all electric power plant safe in the water, but for now, let's see what Nikola is saying about their new toy.

Not much. But on my concerns about safety, Nikola seems to be touting the IP68 standard of waterproofing. This waterproofing standard is not really made for things like wetbikes, but more for small devices like mobile phones and requires a device be able to handle being fully immersed in up to 1.5m (a smidgen under 5 feet) of water. So the Wav is rated about the same as your Galaxy S10 for operation under water. Of course, that's just fine for the occasional roll-over and usage and I'm guessing that Nikola is banking on their design never sinking below the waterline.

Another point feature is "Instant Torque". That's an interesting angle. Instant torque is a feature of all electric motors. In actuality all electric motors exhibit maximum torque at zero velocity (which is why train locomotives tend to use electric motors powered by generators driven by diesel engines). So I suppose it's reasonable to equate that to "instant". But what does that mean for the performance of the wetbike? Answer: That depends. There's nothing inherently performance enhancing about having maximum available torque at the prop (or impeller in this case). It's can be an advantage, but many other factors would need to be examined in the design of the propulsion to determine any specific performance boost. But that's a completely different discussion.

The Wav apparently goes full digital for display with a twelve inch 4K dashboard but from the image below it looks like you could watch a movie or something.

And then there's my favorite, the front LED headlamp (not a bad idea), and the rear taillights. Taillights? Do they work like brake lights or somethings?

There are no other details regarding performance, run time, charge time or pricing at this time.

But you say hey! Why so snarky? I mean these guys are doing it aren't they? Sure, but I think you're going to have to bring a lot more to the table then just an electric power plant, better storage and a curious hull, to get people to buy these things. Take a lesson from Tesla, Nikola. Early adopters want a compelling reason to go electric. Elon Musk gave them super-cruise and auto-pilot with brain melting performance. What does the Wav provide but novelty and dubious performance enhancements? I wish them luck though, I really do, but the consumer is king on this battlefield.

Monday, April 01, 2019

March 2019 Lake Levels and Flow Rates

The Lake draw down is complete with levels reaching the lowest we will probably see all year on March 6th at 653.4ft. Although current levels are well below average, recent rains and the promise of more means that Ameren will likely take whatever water nature can give between now and Memorial weekend to get things up to full pool. Let's just hope it's nice gentle rise between now and then.

The candlestick chart for March

Below is the daily detailed chart versus the multi-year average (grey)

And because of the draw down, below is a candlestick for all of 2019 (so far). Bonus!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Which Website Is This?

Looking at some statistics, I suppose a bit of clarification is needed. This page is linked by a few of my owned domains, and you may have arrived here by any number of them, depending on your search results. To be clear, this web page is the home of the following web domains: : Look at any map of the lake and it's pretty easy to see it resembles a serpent of some sort and for many years the marketing efforts for the Lake of the Ozarks tried to use the "Magic Dragon" moniker for advertising. In fact, the annual car show and the Lake Ozark Fire Department still use it to this day. While I've always felt the imagery was appropriate, it never really took off as a brand. I always liked it though and will continue to promote this website under that primary web domain. Another domain I've owned for some time that was intended for a project involving virtual tours. It would have been sort of a Google Streetview for trails and rivers. But as the old saying goes, if you have a good idea there are already a hundred people working on it, but if you have a great idea a thousand people are working on it, and Google already has some hiking trails on Streetview, but no rivers. I'm looking at doing rivers as something to do in retirement but the rig is quite complex. But that's another story, for another blog, for another day. A fairly obvious domain good to cyber-squat. This domain is in recognition that while I primarily focus on the Lake of the Ozarks, my interests really run throughout the Ozark region. Another blog, another day...

Those are the three primary web domains that will bring you to this page and the reason for their existence. Just in case you were wondering. B

Friday, March 15, 2019

2019 Draw Down - Calling It!

I'm going to call the low for the 2019 draw down at 653.41 feet on March 8th at 11am. I've been fooled before but this level is solidly below the 9 year average of 654.82 and just a bit ahead of the average low date of March 11th, so it's a good bet (I just got back from Vegas) we won't go back down to that level again, especially with the rains we've had this week. It didn't last long so homeowners didn't get much opportunity to take advantage of the extra low levels, but things should stay seasonably low for the next 30 days so there's still a chance to get out to clean the shoreline and do repairs weather permitting, and the weather this weekend is looking pretty decent. Time to get to work!