You could say, “for a while,” but that seems rather obvious. It has been a rainy few weeks with more rain in the forecast. Sure, the wet weather interferes with your outdoor plans right now, but you won’t be complaining this summer as you enjoy a wonderfully full Lake Travis.
But just how long will it be before you start complaining again that your beautiful Lake Travis is getting low? Griping doesn’t count.
Let’s take a look and see if we can figure it out.
Lake levels as of May 7, 2019: Lake Travis is at 683.13, and Lake Buchanan is at 1,017.95. Earlier this week, one floodgate at Tom Miller Dam was partially open due to the recent heavy rains.
If you remember Lake Travis at this time last year, that’s when we started to see the significant steady decline in lake levels. By September 2018, Lake Travis was just plain sad. Of course, all of that changed shortly after that.
And speaking of a sad lake, did you know the minimum lake level recorded for Lake Travis was 614.18 back in 1951?
It’s “aboot” Canada, eh?
The weather forecast is calling for more rain and thunderstorms so you could see a significant amount of rainfall in the Texas Hill Country this week, like 2-4 more inches.
Widespread rainfall and storms in the area are a result of a Canadian cold front that’s sinking into parts of North Texas. That’s right, this cold front is particularly apologetic, so no hard feelings. They’re sorry. And, sorry again.
The rain is supposed to continue off and on throughout the weekend with the possibility of heavy rain and storms at times. But it is supposed to start drying off next week with temperatures back up in the 80’s. What’s interesting is even with all of the rain it feels like we’ve been getting, we were 1-2 inches below normal back in March. Wait, does anyone remember March? Lol.
Lake level predictions through October
Okay, so we’ve established rain is happening now, but what happens when it stops.
If we have extremely dry conditions — think terrible drought again — Lake Travis lake levels could fall back down to the mid 650s by October. Sounds crazy, right? According to LCRA, that is a possibility.
If we continue to experience wet conditions like we are now, lake levels could still be hovering over 670 by October. If we get something in between — which Texas isn’t known for — Lake Travis could dip down to 658-668 range by fall.
Remember, the top of water conservation storage (Lake Travis) is 681, which we’ve been above since the flooding last October.
Lake Buchanan is ironic
As you probably know, the Highland Lakes (Buchanan, Inks, LBJ, Marble Falls, Travis, and Austin) are not constant-level lakes. They’re a little manic at times. That being said, with a look towards future lake levels for Lake Buchanan, it’s a bit more consistent in its inconsistency hence the irony.
Should we encounter harsh drought conditions as outlined above, Lake Buchanan will drop, but only to 1,010 by October. If we keep seeing wet conditions, it will remain about where it is now through October.
For Lake Buchanan, the top of conservation storage is 1,018 to 1,020 feet above mean sea level (feet msl). It’s at 1,017.95.
What say you, good people of Lake Travis?
As you’ve probably heard in your conversations, despite facts and data, Lake Travis residents have their own opinions about how long we’ll get to enjoy Lake Travis at such obscenely high and glorious levels.
We’ve heard it all from “for the next two summers” to “we’ll be lucky if it lasts through August!”
What do you think?
Dazzle us with your lake level projections in the comment section on our LTL Facebook page.
Sandra W Price says
While the scope of your news is limited, I really appreciate the factual information you provide. Most other reporting is simply sensationalism, not much substance. Thank you!
Todd Hower says
Thank you, Sandra!