Recent California Storms Bring Drought Relief to Lake Tahoe

Thanks to the recent and unusual downpour California has been having, water reservoirs throughout the area have been filling up quite a bit. Just in the past two days, Lake Tahoe has received about 8.7 billion gallons of water, not including the massive amounts of water that have poured in from the torrential storms that weathered around a month ago.


Due to the abnormal winter storms that hit California in late 2016 and early 2017, the water in Lake Tahoe has risen past its normal rim level. As according to the National Weather Service, Lake Tahoe is up 40 billion gallons since the first of January. Apparently, the rain isn’t going to let up either. Sequential blizzards have been passing over the region on a weekly basis now.


To give some perspective to the situation, Lake Tahoe’s natural rim lies at 6,223 feet. From December 9 to December 11 of last year, the lake gained about 8,690,131,707 gallons of fresh water, making the water level rise up to 6,222.97 feet. The last time Lake Tahoe was at the natural rim was September 13, 2016. For an even broader outlook of it, that is the equivalent of 13,158 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Drought conditions aren’t looking so bad anymore for Southern California, especially since it’s still early in the winter season too.


Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the US, is fed by 63 tributaries, and can hold up to an estimated 39 trillion gallons of water. Almost half of all the water that drains into Lake Tahoe is from direct rainfall or snowfall onto the lake’s surface as well. However, some data shows that over 100 billions gallons of water annually evaporates from the lake due to its large surface area and high elevation.


Drought is still prevalent in the SoCal and Nevada areas, and it’s still recommended to continue being water-conscious. But for in the meanwhile, the Sierra Nevada snowpack and its runoff is the highest level it’s ever been for the past 22 years. So for now, you relax a little since drought conditions are somewhat alleviated.  Water your lawn. Draw yourself a bath. Maybe even go crazy and take a TEN minute shower.

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