Powell rising too

Thanks to Fay, Lake Okeechobee has risen over 3 feet since the start of August, and around 5 ft since it bottomed out at just above 9 ft mean sea level in mid June.

Compare that to Lake Powell’s recent rise.
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Thanks to abundant Rocky Mountain snowmelt in the Upper Colorado River, Powell’s pool has risen around 40 ft since the start of April, and 75 ft since it bottomed out at 1355 ft above sea level about 5 years ago.

Note in the graph below how the same trend does not apply to downstream Lake Mead.
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Lake Mead has dropped around 50 ft in the same 5-year span that Powell has risen 75 ft. Lake Meade is at its lowest level since the mid 1960s when the Bureau of Reclamation started filling up upstream Lake Powell. Lake Mead is currently around 100 ft below its 1999 level.
By the way, Lake Mead holds around 28 million acre feet when completely full. It’s current volume is around half that: 14 million acre feet. Despite its much larger size, Lake Okeechobee only holds between 5-6 million acre feet when it is full.

Find out more about Lake Powell’s recent rise in a recent New York Times article on Lake Powell, written by Randal C. Archibold.


The sattelite image of Lake Powell and photo of Glen Canyon Dam are licensed under The Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

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