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Lake temperatures rise early

FINGER LAKES—Is the lake much warmer than usual this year? Many are asking that question about Keuka and Seneca Lake.
In the first week of June, comparing this year and last year, both lakes experienced a temperature increase.  Seneca Lake’s temperature June 1, 2010, was 62 degrees.  Last year, June 2, it was 56 degrees.  Keuka Lake was 64 degrees this year, and 56 degrees last year.
A check of water temperatures show matching temperatures for Keuka and Seneca lakes on May 19 and 26  at 51 and 57 degrees. On June 1, the water temperatures had popped up to 64 degrees on Keuka and 62 degrees on Seneca.
Water temperatures are measured at water intakes in Penn Yan and Geneva.  They extend well out into the lake and are deep enough so that they don’t interfere with navigation.
Keuka Lake Association’s (KLA) Web site has a graph that compares the temperatures for the year with the comment, “As anyone who swims in Keuka knows, the temperature can vary significantly throughout the lake at any given time. Their graph covers 2007 to 2009 and indicated the temperature of Keuka was 71 degrees at the last measurement, higher than the May 31 mark.
A quick look at KLA’s graph shows the temperature this year is generally much higher than in 2009. There were two periods last year when the lake temperature dropped significantly in the early months while this year the temperatures have shown a mostly steady increase to date.
Local meteorologist Phil Mann spoke about the water temperatures after cautioning that is not his area of concentration.
Mann said, “It’s a function of both the weather and the hydrology of the lake.  The weather is only a partial correlation, weather and the circulation of the lake. Runoff, circulation of water in the lake and a whole lot of other factors influence the water temperature.” 

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