Colchester Lighthouse weather station is
operated by the UVM School of Natural
Resources. It is fully automated and
collects temperature, wind speed &
direction, humidity, solar radiation and
water temperature. Data is radioed hourly.
Lake Champlain Marine Forecast
Lake Champlain Marine Forecast for Lake
Champlain Open Waters by the National
Weather Service in Burlington, VT, updated
throughout the day.
Lake Length: 120 miles
(193 kilometers). Lake Champlain flows from
Whitehall, New York north almost across the
U.S./Canadian border to its outlet at the
Richelieu River in Quebec. From there, the water
joins the St. Lawrence River, which eventually
drains into the Atlantic Ocean at the Gulf of
Greatest Width: 12
miles (19 km).
Greatest Lake Depth:
400 ft. (122 meters). The waters of Lake
Champlain reach their greatest depth in the area
between Charlotte, Vermont and Essex, New York.
Visit the Lake Depths page for more information.
Average Lake Depth: 64
ft. (19.5 meters).
Average Annual Water Level:
95.5 ft. Normal annual variation between high
and low average water levels is about six feet
(2 meters) in Lake Champlain, but since the
early 1870s when daily records began, the
maximum range between the high and low average
water levels was measured at 9.4 feet (3
Record High Water Level:
The highest recorded level at the gage in
Burlington was 103.27 feet above mean sea level
on May 6, 2011
Record Low Water Level:
The minimum lake level observed in Burlington
was 92.61 feet above mean sea level on December
Lake Area: 435 sq.
miles (1127 sq. kilometers) of surface water.
Average Volume of Water:
6.8 quadrillion gallons (25.8 trillion cubic
Water Retention Time:
Varies by Lake segment. It is longest in the
Main Lake, about three years and shortest in the
South Lake -- less than two months.
Amount of Shoreline:
587 miles (945 kilometers) of shoreline.
Number of Beaches:
There are about 54 public or commercial beaches
and 10 private beaches on the Lake's shores.
Visit the Beaches page for more information.
Average Lake Freeze Date:
The average Lake freeze date (across the Lake's
widest part) is February 12th. During the frigid
winter of 2003, it froze on February 15th, and
during 2004, the Lake froze on January 27th. In
2005, it froze on March 8th. However, the Lake
is still freezing less frequently across its
widest part than it has in the past. For
example, it only froze during three winters
Lake Segments: The Lake
is divided into five distinct areas, each with
different physical and chemical characteristics
and water quality. These lake segments include:
the South Lake, the Main Lake (or Broad Lake),
Malletts Bay, the Inland Sea (or Northeast Arm),
and Missisquoi Bay.
Lake Champlain stratifies in the spring and
summer. The warmer, less dense, upper layer (epilimnion)
of the Lake typically extends down about 33 feet
(10 meters) in the Main Lake during the summer.
Below this layer, there is a sharp transition in
temperature called the "metalimnion" or "thermocline,"
to the much colder waters below, called the "hypolimnion".
Number of Islands in Lake:
More than 70.
Area of the Basin:
8,234 sq. miles (21,326 sq. kms). Ninety percent
of the water that enters Lake Champlain flows
through the Lake's drainage basin before it
reaches the Lake.
Fifty-six percent of the Basin is in Vermont,
37% is in New York, and 7% is in the Province of
Area of Wetlands in the
Basin: More than 300,000 acres. Visit the
Wetlands page for more information.
Precipitation: More than 50 in. (127 cm) in
the mountains and 30 in. (76 centimeters) near
the Lake or in valleys. Visit the Climate page
for more information.
Growing Season: 150
days near the Lake and 105 days in higher
Average Annual Air
Temperature: 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit
Population of Basin:
571,000 (541,000 in the US according to the 2000
Census Data, and 30,000 in Quebec). About 68%
live in Vermont, 27% in New York, and 5% in
Quebec. Density is about 61 people per sq. mi.
Drinking Water Use:
Approximately 200,000 people or about 35% of the
Basin population, depend on Lake Champlain for
drinking water. Approximately 4,149 draw water
directly from Lake Champlain for individual use.
There are 99 public water systems drawing water
from Lake Champlain.