Water levels in Central Texas lakes rapidly dropping
July has started off brutally hot and dry. Record-shattering daily high temperatures have been reached multiple days and there’s really no end in sight to the heat or the lack of rainfall. Up to the end of June, the year 2022 is among the driest on record for Waco with less than an inch of rain in June. That makes 10 consecutive months with below normal precipitation. Waco has seen only 8.85″ of precipitation so far this year, which is -11.58″ below what we normally see by this time in the year. Through July 11, only 1925 (5.71″) and 1971 (6.53″) were drier than 2022.
Low Water Records for Waco Lake
The lowest recorded level of Lake Waco in the past decade was 454.11 ft in October 2013. As the drought conditions grow and get worse, we are seeing Central Texas lake levels negatively affected. Lake Waco has officially dipped lower than the lake has been in the the last 30 years. Lake levels are dropping at a rapid pace and Lake Waco has dropped to 454.82 ft as of July 12th. That ties the 5th lowest level that Lake Waco has reached at only 70.8% full. If you notice the dates on which the lake was at the lowest levels, they all happened later in the year - October & December. It’s only July and we are already on the list of lowest lake levels....
|Lake Level (in ft)||Date|
|454.82 ft||10/09/2011 (07/2022 currently tied here)|
Normal elevation for Lake Waco is 462.0 ft. Last July, Lake Waco was 100% full. Six months ago, the lake was at 86.8% full and even just a month ago the lake was at 75.6% full capacity. Sitting at 70.8% full doesn’t drop us into the top three lowest percentage full amounts, but the level is dropping at a very alarming rate.
|Lowest Lake Waco Percent Full Amounts||Date|
To monitor lake levels across Texas, go here. Below are the top four Central Texas lakes and information about the lake surface elevation and rate at which they are falling, rising, or holding steady. Lake Waco, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, and Lake Whitney are all decreasing at about 0.01 ft/hour. Belton Lake holds steady at this time.
We have a lot more of the summer to get through, but with the lack of rain and really no major weather pattern changes in the near future, water restrictions are already going into effect across Central Texas. You can find additional information on water restrictions for Waco and Belton.
To view the lakes, check out our skycam network with views of Lake Waco and Belton Lake.
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