Water levels at a Texas lake swole by 15 feet over the weekend after two rainstorms brought a deluge of rain to the area.
Texas has suffered from severe drought throughout the summer, with the water levels in many lakes, reservoirs, and rivers dropping as a result. AccuWeather senior meteorologist Tom Kines told Newsweek that some areas received two months’ worth of rain in only a few days. This week will bring dry weather to the Waco region, but more rain could be on the way as the season turns.
Lake Waco in McLennan County is one of several in the Lone Star state that has suffered from a years-long drought. The lake was at its lowest level this year on Wednesday at 450 feet, 12 feet below full pool. After a deluge of rain, the lake jumped by more than 15 feet, elevating the lake to levels not seen since June 2021, and the lake could continue to rise.
The most recent update to the U.S. Drought Monitor Map showed that the majority of McLennan County was suffering from extreme drought prior to the rainstorms. The storm was cause for celebration as water levels at the lake continued to rise drastically throughout the weekend. At 465 feet, the lake is now above full pool.
“LAKE WACO IS FULL! In fact, we are into the flood stage at the lake! Thanks to all the rain in the Bosque River watershed, we have seen the lake rise nearly 15 feet since Wednesday! Incredible!” KXXV meteorologist Josh Johns posted on X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday night.
Johns spoke about the shoreline in the video accompanying the post, commenting on how there was exposed shore that is no longer visible following two rainstorms in the area.
“Amazing! Lake Waco was over 12 feet down last week. We are now 1 foot over the flood pool! That’s a rise of over 13 feet in the last five days,” KXXV chief meteorologist Matt Hines posted on X on Sunday. “Parts of Bosque county saw up to 20 inches of rain…and it flowed south. That’s how you break a drought!”
“As we get into the winter months, it’s looking to be normal to above-normal rainfall,” Kines said.
The heavy rainstorms in central Texas benefitted other parched lakes as well, with Lake Travis rising by 5 feet after the Llano River flooded. Lake Buchanan also benefitted and rose approximately 1.5 feet following the rain in Llano County, which yielded more than 7 inches of rain. Both lakes were suffering from the drought, with the low water levels at Lake Travis revealing hidden pecan groves and an abandoned concrete plant.
Texas could see more rain throughout the winter as El Niño grips the region. A graphic shared by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration revealed that much of Texas could expect a wet winter. Wet weather also is expected in southern California, Arizona and New Mexico.