Heavy rains wet soil but do little for lakes


EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has become outdated because of additional rainfall. David Yeomans has a new report on how the rainfall has boosted lake levels here.



AUSTIN (KXAN) — A potent late-spring storm system is producing rounds of showers and heavy thunderstorms over Central Texas Memorial Day.

As of Monday morning, the area that feeds into Lake Buchanan has received widespread rainfall totals of 3-5″. The Lake Travis inflow basin has seen rain amounts between 0.75-3″, and Lake LBJ has seen 1-3″.

But what impact has this welcome rainfall had on the Highland Lake levels?

According to the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), Lake Buchanan has held relatively steady thus far – but is expected to rise between 2-6 inches through the day Monday.

Lake Travis has already risen 1-2 inches Monday morning, and the LCRA expects the lake to rise another 2 inches through the day Monday.

While these lake level rises are welcome news during the severe, ongoing drought – Lake Buchanan remains 26 feet below its May average and Lake Travis is 46 feet below its monthly average. Both lakes are 2 inches lower than they were a week ago.

Recent heavy rainfall during our wettest month of the year has provided more soil moisture and lowered fire danger, the LCRA says that rainfall totals have not yet been high enough to produce significant runoff. The LCRA adds that repeated, heavy rainstorms would be needed to significantly raise storage levels.

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