70°F

4.9.14 Lake Level, Temp. Near Average

Lake Champlain's level and temperature are both near average for this time of year.
After a winter that froze Lake Champlain solid, some are wondering how that's impacting the lake's level and temperature. Turns out both the lake level and temperature are close to average.

Right now the lake level sits at 97.31 feet. That's very close to the April average of 98.54 feet, especially when you remember that the level is still going up courtesy of our recent snow melt.

Keep in mind that it is the melting snow pack nearby, and not the ice on the lake, that's impacting the level.

Think of the ice as an ice cube in your drink. The ice cube, when still frozen, displaces liquid water around it. So, when it melts, the water level matches what was already displaced by the ice. The bottom line: only water from outside the system (i.e., snow melt being fed in by rivers) increases the level.

The ice is impacting the lake level in one way though. The white ice reflects more sunlight, so it's preventing evaporation. That means without the ice on top, the lake level would likely be lower than it currently is.

With regard to temperature, the lake currently sits at 37 degrees. That's exactly what we'd expect for this time of year.

-Meteorologist Michael Page

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