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LibbyMt.com > News > May 2014 > Libby Dam flow update May 6th

Libby Dam flow update May 6th
by National Weather Service
May 6, 2014

Current Koocanusa Reservoir elevation: 2386.5 feet
Current Koocanusa Reservoir inflow: ~22 kcfs
Current Libby Dam outflow: 20.0 kcfs
Current Kootenai River elevation at Bonners Ferry: 1758.6 feet

Libby Dam is transitioning to refill. Current discharge is ~20 kcfs. Tomorrow, Wednesday at 2200 MDT over two hours discharge will be reduce to 16 kcfs. That release will likely be held until the start of the Sturgeon Pulse in Mid-May. The decision to start the Sturgeon Pulse will be made in real-time and will depend on weather and streamflow conditions. The Sturgeon Pulse will be roughly a week at full powerhouse capacity, followed by another week of ~18 kcfs, and then another week of full powerhouse capacity. The Sturgeon Volume will then likely be finished on 15-20 kcfs in Mid-June. Releases at 15-20 kcfs or higher could last into July depending on inflow into Libby Dam.

The May water supply forecast for April-to-August Libby inflow volume was 6996 KAF, which is 119% of normal. It was issued May 5th. The May forecast set the Sturgeon Volume to 1.17 MAF. It set the Bull Trout minimum to 9 kcfs, which goes into effect after the Sturgeon Volume is extinguished. The Sturgeon Volume will likely be extinguished sometime in Mid-June.

Modeling for Libby Dam Operations and associated probabilities can be found here:

The Libby Dam traces will be updated at least weekly from now through the summer. The charts have information on Libby Dam seasonal inflows, elevations and outflow. It also have projections for Bonners Ferry seasonal elevation and peak height for the year.

The Northwest River Forecast Center creates daily forecasts for short term projections throughout the Kootenai and Columbia River Basins. These forecasts can be updated multiple times in a day and can be updated at anytime as conditions change. Links to those projections can be found below:

Short term forecasts for Libby Dam elevations and inflows can be found here:

Short term forecasts for Libby Dam releases can be found here:

Short term forecasts for Bonners Ferry can be found here:

Please note the National Weather Service's disclaimer on forecasts after 3 days. All forecasts and model projections are based on the best information at the current time, as the weather changes so will the short and long-term predictions.

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