#LakePowell is rising more than a foot a day. But #megadrought’s effects will still be felt — The Washington Post #runoff #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

West Monitor map May 9, 2023.

Click the link to read the article on The Washington Post website (Scott Dance). Here’s an excerpt:

A wet and snowy weather pattern for much of the West brought at least a brief reprieve this winter. In the upper river basin, snowpack peaked at more than 150 percent of normal. While that was not as dramatic as what accumulated in California’s Sierra Nevada after a winter of repeated storms, snowfall set records in some parts of southwestern Colorado. The snow was slow to melt in early spring, with colder-than-normal temperatures and periods of mountain snow extending into late April. But early May warmth has triggered a surge of snowmelt. Temperatures rose into the 70s for several days early in the month in the mountains of western Colorado and eastern Utah…

After Lake Powell’s surface dropped to about 3,520 feet above sea level in mid-April, it has been largely rising. That accelerated to an increase of more than a foot per day over the past week, according to data from the federal Bureau of Reclamation, which owns and operates Glen Canyon Dam. The lake’s height reached about 3,533 feet above sea level on Tuesday. And the lake is forecast to rise 70 to 71 feet, in all, by the fall. That allowed the bureau in late April to release torrents of water from Lake Powell downstream as part of an experiment exploring potential rehabilitation of river wildlife and ecosystems along the Grand Canyon…

The water flows into Lake Powell are substantial, but in context, are not reason for celebration, Leeflang said. The forecasted 70-foot rise translates to the lake’s stores of water increasing from about 20 percent of its capacity to 30 percent, he said. [ed. Luke Runyon says that this

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