We've added a new, temporary second webcam at ECHO today, pointing south over our parking lot. While that wouldn't be the most exciting vantage point on the average day, recent weather conditions have had us all looking out the windows a bit more than usual the past week, and we wanted to share the view.
Visit the Lake Weather section of our website to check out both our standard ECHO Cam, which runs year-round and looks out over the lake, plus our new Waterfront Flooding Cam, which we'll keep in place until the water recedes. Click on the thumbnail of the camera to open it up full-screen and get a detailed view. The new camera looks south from ECHO, over our parking lot, and toward the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum shipyard, Burlington Ferry dock, and Perkin's Pier, all of which are currently experiencing flooding. As of this writing, the water has filled the back-most section of ECHO's lot, and is rising in the low area of the lot in the bottom left corner of the webcam, where a storm drain is located. (But don't worry, there's still plenty of dry waterfront parking available, if you want to come down to ECHO and see things for yourself!) Check out the below photo to see the initial shot when the webcam first came online this afternoon, and then compare it to the current live image on the webcam.
On the Lake Weather page, you'll also find links to the USGS Lake Gauge at ECHO. This gauge is located on the seawall, about 100 feet west of the camera position, and offers data like current Lake temperature and level. As of 7PM EDT on 4/27/11, the level is being reported as 101.61 feet. The National Weather Service Flood Stage for the lake is at 100 feet, so we're already a foot and a half above that. According to the National Weather Service, Lake Champlain is forecast to continue rising to near 102 feet by early Friday afternoon, and additional rises may be possible thereafter.
If the lake does actually reach 102 feet, it will have set a new historical lake level. As you can see in the graph on the right, showing the historical Lake level in Burlington from 1907 to 2005, the current record high was set at 101.86 feet, 18 years ago today, on April 27, 1993.
With thunderstorms forecast for tonight, tomorrow, and more rain on Friday, plus additional rain forecast all of next week, additional rises are likely. Keep an eye on the cam and the Lake Gauge, and you might just see history in the making.
Pictured: Champ goes for a swim as the Lake rises by the Burlington Ferry Dock, (C) Julie Silverman/ECHO; Waterfront Flooding Cam at ECHO on April 27th; Lake Levels at Burlington, Courtesy of USGS.