FLBS LakeNet Weather Network

FLBS Weather Station
FLBS Meteorological Buoy

In the early 1900s, FLBS founder Dr. Morton Elrod established Montana’s first weather station in his backyard in Missoula. FLBS has been collecting weather data ever since, with daily manual readings at our Yellow Bay location for the National Weather Service going back to 1938.

In 2011, FLBS enhanced weather data collection and accessibility through the deployment of LakeNET, a telemetered network of environmental weather and water quality sensors. Weather sensors are mounted on land and buoy-based towers while water quality profilers are mounted below the buoys and travel from the bottom to near the surface of the lake multiple times each day.

Data from LakeNET’s environmental sensors has greatly increased understanding of Flathead Lake’s biological and physical processes and is currently being used in concert with our long-term physical and chemical measurements to drive a nutrient-food web model for Flathead Lake.

The National Weather Service routinely uses our data in their predictive models for Flathead Lake wind and wave conditions and their issuance of small craft advisories.

FLBS weather data is updated every 15 minutes. Water conditions are updated every 3 hours.

The FLBS Sensor Network is entirely supported by grants and donations. Please consider a donation to keep it free and available.
FLBS Sensor Network donations


Flathead Lake
Weather Sites

Max Wind+Mean Wind+Precip *
FLBS Hill12:15 a32.5 °F77.9 %30.1" Hg2.1 mph E2.2 mph 1.6 mph None
West Shore1/27 10:30 p33.6 °F70.8 %30.1" Hg0.3 mph SSE1.3 mph 0.5 mph
YB Point1/27 10:50 p33.0 °F37.8 °F 1.8 mph N
East Shore1/27 10:30 p30.7 °F78.6 %30.1" Hg1.7 mph SW2.2 mph 0.7 mph
Narrows1/27 10:30 p36.6 °F35.7 °F 30.1" Hg2.7 mph SSW5.1 mph 2.7 mph
Somers1/22 6:30 p36.5 °F34.1 °F 30.1" Hg0.0 mph SW0.0 mph 0.0 mph
North Shore1/26 8:00 p35.6 °F35.0 °F 30.0" Hg10.2 mph SE12.2 mph 10.4 mph
Midlake Deep
Midlake North
* Precipitation since midnight; + Last 15 min.



Lake Profiler Subsurface Data Graphs


Lake Surface Temperature

37.8°F at 10:50 PM on 1/27/2020

The Flathead Lake surface water temperature reading is measured at the end of Yellow Bay Point. As one of the measurements in the Flathead Lake environmental data suite, temperature is reported every 15 minutes.

Note that surface water temperature sensor readings are only available when the lake is at or near full pool (roughly May - September).

Lake Surface Level, Conditions, and Forecasts

Today's lake level is: 2886.26 feet

The Flathead Lake water level value is provided by the US Geological Survey, whose gauging station is located on Salish Point near Polson, MT. Data is read in RDB format.

Kerr Dam, at the lake outlet in Polson, regulates outflow to maintain Flathead Lake's level between 2,883 and 2,893 feet above sea level. If runoff conditions in the mountains don't warrant flood threats, the lake's level is brought to 2,890 feet by the end of May and to full pool by June 15.

Related Resources

National Weather Service:

Lake surface conditions forecast
Lake level forecast

The National Weather Service uses FLBS LakeNET data in its Lake Surface Conditions Forecast and predictive issuances of small craft advisories.

© 2020 FLBS, UM