The rainfall associated with the frontal activity over the past couple of weeks has helped to keep the lake levels up. For 2018, through the end of March, Lake County has a 2.26-inch surplus or 167% of average year-to-date rainfall.
As of this morning Lake Minnehaha, the reference lake for the Clermont Chain, is at 96.64 ft. MSL, slightly below the middle of the regulatory range. The regulatory range is from 96.0 ft. to 97.50 ft. The lake is about 0.60 ft. higher than it was at this same time last year. The combined flow from Big and Little Creeks into Lake Louisa is 2.23 cfs (cubic ft. per second) or 1,011 gpm (gallons per minute). As a comparison, in October 2017 after Hurricane Irma, the combine flow from Big and Little Creeks was 659 cfs or 289,960 gpm. The Cherry Lake Dam has been closed since February 20, 2018 when Lake Minnehaha was at 97.11 ft. MSL.
For the Harris Chain of Lakes, Lake Apopka is currently at 66.01 ft. which is 0.12 above the regulatory level of 65.89 ft. Flow from Lake Apopka through the Nutrient Reduction Facility (NuRF) was increased from 10 cfs to 150 cfs as of Monday April 16th. The middle lakes (Beauclair, Carlton, Dora, Eustis and Harris) are currently at 62.29 ft., slightly above the regulatory level of 62.21 ft. Flow from the middles lakes through the Burrell lock and dam is at 321 cfs. For Lake Griffin, the lake is currently at 58.28 ft. slightly above the regulatory level of 58.21 ft. Flow from Lake Griffin through the Moss Bluff lock and dam is at 320 cfs.
This is the beginning of the typically dry time of year and the rainy season doesn’t usually get going until mid-June. This time of year is when evaporation rates are at their highest (warm days, bright sunny skies and relatively low humidity) and irrigation rates are also at their highest. As such, the lake levels may fall unless the area receives some significant rainfall.