The Smart Report: December 10, 2009

Freedom – December 10, 2009 — Real winter arrived at Ossipee Lake yesterday, December 9. We had snow all day long (10″) and the first skin ice on the east shore of Broad Bay. We did have some snow two days earlier, but most of it was melted by the heat from the ground and roadways. The plow truck did my driveway at 11p.m. last night for the first time this season.

There has been a moderate wind out of the SW all morning, some sun and the temperature near 40, so skin ice is gone and all the snow slid off the roof.

As for lake level, we have been on the usual roller coaster ride since Nov. 4 when both sides of the dam were wide open and conditions were dry. Big Lake level got down to 405.2 on the 14th, and test borings for the new dam were making good progress on the north shore. Next phase is to get the big tractor mounted equipment into the dry river bottom below the present dam and then up on the island (and back to the north shore).

Then the rains came – one shower after the other. Not large quantities at any one time, but just enough to bring the lake back up to almost 408′ by last Saturday, the 5th. The area has been rain-free since then and the level is almost down to 407′ by noon today. So far the snow does not show up as precipitation on the website reports.

What I find interesting about events of the last 30 days is that we humans (including the State Dam Bureau) can do very little to control the lake level when Mother Nature sends us rain in either one big dump or several small drabs close together. The dam has been wide open for the last month, but the level came up almost 3′ because of a few moderate rain events over a large geographic area.

Anyone care to estimate when the level will be back down below 405′ (top of north side spillway) and test boring can resume?


  1. freedomresident 15 years ago December 11, 2009


    As always your reports are very informative. The Ossipee Lake Web cam doesn’t have the snow guage out yet, so your updates are very helpful. More winter weather coming next week so one can only imagine how long it will take for the water to get to its proper level. Hopefully the snowmobilers will be cautious as that ice begins to freeze. Keep us the great work.


  2. Don 15 years ago December 12, 2009

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