[2/22/17] Chelan County PUD Monitoring Water Levels In Lake Chelan Basin

Posted in Feature, Local Government & Meetings

The Chelan County Public Utility District is busy monitoring water levels in the Lake Chelan Basin as usual for this time of year.

PUD Senior Energy Analyst Becky Keating tells us about the important function this seasonal oversight serves for the utility and its customer owners…

022217 PUD Water Levels 1 :31 “…bring the lake back up”

The latest surveys taken by the PUD three weeks ago reflect a significant change in snowpack levels this winter when compared to the last two years, but Keating says the trend is actually quite the opposite of what many casual observes would imagine…

022217 PUD Water Levels 2 :30 “…average up in the mountains”

Keating explains why the current snowfall and lake levels can look deceiving based on the events of the previous two winters…

022217 PUD Water Levels 3 :49 “… to people that way now”

According to Keating, the short-term forecast for the region includes above average temperatures and precipitation, which translates to a lower probability for large amounts of snowpack. The long-term outlook however, calls for below average temperatures with above normal precipitation, meaning snowpack could catch up to typical seasonal levels by April.

The current snowpack data along with weather predictions for the next six to eight weeks indicate the PUD will be in what’s known as a “dry average target curve” this spring, meaning it’s likely that power generation could come to a halt at Chelan Dam for a while until healthy lake levels are observed.