Lake Tahoe water level increases, thanks to weekends’ storm surge

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The precipitation brought by the huge storm system that entered Northern California over the weekend has helped the water levels at Lake Tahoe to rise back up over its natural perimeter.

In 24 hours, the water level at the Tahoe City dam, close to the Truckee River outlet, has increased almost 50 percent, the U.S. Geological Survey’s data show.

The lake needs each inch of precipitation it can catch this winter after it hit a critically low threshold just last week, which means that the water level fell below the natural rim of the basin. When this happens, the lake disconnects with the Truckee River that serves as its only outlet.

The Truckee River was flowing back to life on Monday following a new pour.

Even so, this does not mean that Tahoe is already out of threat.

The lake had only pushed below the rim for an inch or more before the storm. The massive storm system causing the water levels to be back up is not a new thing. Tahoe, however, remains at the low end of its volume. The full capacity of the lake is at 6 feet above the natural rim, or at above 6, 229 feet, SFGATE reported.

According to scientists who study Lake Tahoe, a healthy, full lake can be achieved with a winter that exceeds the average, with a strong snowpack that will stay through the spring. The lake is feared to revert back to dropping below the natural rim next year – or it can come even earlier in the water year if a huge winter will not arrive. If Tahoe remains below its natural rim, officials said more problems are seen to emerge.