Shasta Lake Level Looking Good

Jan 2, 2013 8:00 PM

The snow survey brings positive news, but Shasta lake, California's largest reservoir, gets only 10% of its water from snowfall. The rest comes from rain. While we have had a lot of it this year, how does it compare to normal?

With rainy weather still ahead of us, Shasta Lake is already swelling with water.

“We are 73% full, we are 45.35 feet from the crest so as far as this time of year, we are doing excellent,” said Sheri Harral with the Bureau of Reclamation.

The rains of the last month have filtered down from the mountains, raising the lake level by about 30 feet, a major difference from last year.

“If you look back on this day, we had received, for the entire water year, 8.55 inches or rain, and this year we have 38 and a half inches of rain,” said Harral.

Year to date, the water in Shasta Lake is actually only 9 feet higher than last, but it is actually quite significant because last year we started with so much water.

Late rains in 2011 meant the water level was high through the dry season, but in 2012, we started with less water and have ended up with more. Compare the last two December’s and it’s obvious why this happened.

“This year we got 20 inches in December and last year we got less than one,” said Harral.

If your still not convinced that we are out of the woods, the average rainfall at the lake is about 62 inches a year. This year, we are already more than half way there, at 38 inches. There is still plenty more rainy season to come.

The bureau of reclamation says the lake is right where they want it for this time of year, any higher and there could be worries of flood control later in the season.


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