Highland Lakes seeing highest December levels in years

FILE - Lake Buchanan from Black Rock Park (KXAN File Photo)
FILE - Lake Buchanan from Black Rock Park (KXAN File Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Recent rains over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend fell largely in the Hill Country—which is the recharge zone for the Highland Lake chain—some areas received more than 2.5 inches in just three days.

Thanks to this recent rainfall, Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis continue to see rises more than a week and a half later. Lake Buchanan is now sitting at its highest level since October 2015 and its highest December level since 2007. Lake Travis is seeing its highest level since June 2010 and its highest December level since 2007, as well.

Currently Lake Buchanan is sitting at 1010.42 feet above mean sea level (ft. msl), the lake is full at 1020 ft. msl.

Surface runoff can take time to trickle into lakes. Lake Buchanan is the highest in the Highland Lake chain; Travis is second lowest. Runoff from Lake Buchanan works through Inks, LBJ and Marble Falls to eventually end up in Travis, which rises easily. However, Buchanan is situated deep in the Hill Country, which tends to see less rain than areas closer to the Austin metro. The best scenario for rising all of our Highland Lakes is for rain to fall over Buchanan’s watershed, which happened over the holiday weekend.

This latest update comes just one week after all of Texas became drought-free for the second time in 2015. Central Texas became drought-free in early November and is free of even long-term low-moisture spots at this time. Read more about the drought here.


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