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Patterson’s predictions

What does winter weather have in store for West Lake?

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013 9:33 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013 11:31 a.m. CDT

“It’s kind of a coin toss,” said Osceola Water Superintendent Brandon Patterson when he discussed weather predictions and water levels at West Lake with Osceola Sentinel-Tribune.

Last year, at this time, West Lake was 48.5 inches below the spillway. During a Clarke County Reservoir Commission board meeting Nov. 14, it was announced West Lake was currently 34 inches below the spillway.

Water levels for the next couple of months will depend on snow fall, snow melt and spring rains, Patterson said.

“Last year, the snow melt didn’t really play a big part, it was the rainfall that we got in the spring,” Patterson said. “Either way, we want to try to get the precipitation slow. So, if we could get the snow melt, and then we have those gradual melts, that helps fill that lake up slowly. Or, in the spring, we could get the rainfall slowly. It’s beneficial either way.”

According to Patterson, if there is a large, fast rainfall, it fills the lake quickly, but it also fills it with nutrients, which creates severe algae problems in the summer.

“I think, compared to last year, we’re in better shape than we were,” Patterson said. “But, it all just depends on the winter snows, and, obviously, the spring rains.”

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