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!

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

February 2019 Lake Levels and Flow Rates

Yes, yes, I know, just another monthly lake level post. Let's just say I've been busy and the persistent cold weather has my bad attitude in high gear.

So on the draw down front. Are we there yet? I'd say no, we probably have another week or two before we hit rock bottom, but things are low. Just not as low as they usually get before the draw down is over. I'll post a comparison chart later and see if we can't do a little prognosticating on when we'll reach our maximum low for 2019, but typically it's around March 11th.

Here's the detail graph.

And the candlestick version.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

January 2019 Lake Levels and Flow Rates

Lake levels, lake levels. Is that all this blog is about?

What can I say, I have a life. Rest assured, there's plenty more to talk about and we'll be getting to it this year. But for now...

January is the official start to the lake draw down. When Ameren allows lake levels to fall below "normal" in order to accommodate shoreline work, and prepare for the coming spring rains. Spring is coming. My black tail hawks are working on their nest, and the groundhogs have started sniffing around for a place to start a new tunnel under my house, so I know it's coming.

The lake has already started it's inexorable fall to the March low. Below is the hourly detail with the grey line being the new moving five year average.

And below the daily candlestick

All in all, nothing remarkable and a nice steady incremental start to the draw down.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

2018 Annual Lake Levels and Flow Review

Another year has come and gone, and with the annual draw down to prepare the lake for 2019 only days away, let's take a look at what happened in 2018.

Here's a quick summary graph that I made to try and put things in perspective. The lake is still just a flooded river and water flows in and out constantly. Putting up raw numbers like nearly one and a half trillion gallons of water passing through Bagnell Dam sounds impressive but what can we do to give it real meaning?  I've provided some conversions to help get a grasp of just how much water that is. Also, the circle in the middle with percentages indicates Bagnell Dam's operational statistics, how much of the time electricity actually was being generated. The answer is only about 25% of the time.

Operations in flood conditions were negligible, and I doubt the gates were actually open at all, I simply calculate that the maximum flow through the turbines is anything over 37,500cfs (cubic feet per second), but improvements to the turbines may have increased that number. I'll have to revisit that.  The more telling number is the 75.8% operational time below 5000cfs, an indication no commercial electrical power is being generated beyond the "house" generators used to power the Osage Energy Plant itself. This is a very low amount of power generation, and may be due to the extensive work being done this year on Bagnell. In short, Bagnell Dam was probably operating at a loss this year.

As far a lake levels themselves are concerned, this year is probably the most unremarkable we've had since 2012. Levels were right along the guide curve with no surprises.  Below is the candlestick summary for each month of the year.

Below is the daily candlestick for the entire year.

And finally, a candlestick summary of every month from 2010 to 2018.

Friday, January 04, 2019

December 2018 Lake Levels and Flow Rates

Did I see an article in the Lake News Leader last week about the draw down starting? What, did they just look at the calendar and go "Hey, it's December! Time for the draw down to start!"

As you can clearly see, the annual draw down of the lake has not started in any real sense. With lake levels nearly at full pool on the last day of the month, there's a long way to go.

Here's the hourly detail graph

With Ameren's ability to lower the lake level one foot per day at full generation this time of year, there's no real hurry to get to the expected low of about 654' by the first week of March.

One interesting note regarding the hourly detail graph, notice that the multi-year average (grey) shows a little rise in lake levels the last week of the year, and this year (blue) followed that same pattern. It's as if they always generate power, indicated in yellow by flow rates above 10,000 CFS, the week of Christmas.

Monday, December 03, 2018

November 2018 Lake Levels and Flow Rates

Winter seems to have come a little early this year. Brrrrr rabbit!

Lake levels were fairly high all month long and with very little power generation despite the cold temperatures.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

November 6th Camden County Election Results

These are unofficial results which just means they haven't been certified yet.  Chances are these numbers will hold, unless they find a box of ballots on the side of the road or something equally unexpected.

In general the results are unsurprising for a community that's practically a poster child of Republican demographics; white upper middle class retirees, white non-college educated working class, and small business owners.

The pdf from the (new and improved I might add) Camden county website is available here, or just click on the images below.