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

Data

Flathead Lake
Weather Sites


LocationTimeAir
Temp
Water
Temp
Rel
Hum
Bar
Pr
Wind
Spd/Dir
Max Wind+Mean Wind+Precip *
FLBS Hill10/19 11:45 p44.9 °F93.4 %29.9" Hg1.3 mph SW2.6 mph 1.3 mph
West Shore12:00 a42.4 °F88.9 %29.9" Hg0.8 mph WSW1.4 mph 0.6 mph
YB Point10/19 11:45 p48.4 °F52.7 °F 10.5 mph SW
East Shore12:00 a39.4 °F98.3 %30.0" Hg0.1 mph NE1.6 mph 0.4 mph
Narrows12:00 a48.8 °F51.7 °F 29.9" Hg6.9 mph WSW12.6 mph 7.7 mph
Somers10/19 11:45 p42.6 °F-11.8 °F 29.9" Hg4.6 mph ENE5.0 mph 1.5 mph
North Shore10/19 10:15 p38.6 °F45.1 °F 29.9" Hg3.2 mph NNE14.2 mph 8.7 mph
Midlake Deep
Midlake North
* Precipitation since midnight; + Last 15 min.

 

Graphs


Lake Profiler Subsurface Data Graphs

 

Lake Surface Temperature

52.7 °F at 11:45 PM on 10/19/2020

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: 2891.57 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.

"Se̓liš Ksanka Qĺispe̓" Dam (formerly Kerr Dam) sits at the lake outlet in Polson and regulates outflow to maintain Flathead Lake's level between 2,883 and 2,893 feet above sea level. Energy Keepers, a corporation of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes owns and operates the dam and controls Flathead Lake level in compliance with the dam's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license. 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, 2893 feet, by June 15. For recreational purposes, lake level is typically kept within 1 foot of full pool though Labor Day.

For current information and recent updates, please check the Energy Keepers Facebook site at: www.facebook.com/EnergyKeepers

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