Wed January 19, 2011
Lake Mead on the Rise
By Laurel Morales
Flagstaff, AZ – There's a 76 percent chance of releasing water to Lake Mead this year according to the Bureau of Reclamation. This time last year there was only a 21 percent chance. Lake Mead National Recreation Area spokesman Andrew Munoz says he's cautiously optimistic.
MUNOZ: We're not celebrating yet. We haven't broken out the champagne because it can take a week of warm temperatures to lose all that progress we have made in the last couple of months. (0:09)
Meteorologists predicted this would be a dry winter but the La Nina weather patterns didn't pan out.
Just a couple months ago water levels at Lake Mead were at their lowest level in decades. And the seven Colorado River states agreed to consider new drought-prevention rationing -- Arizona and Nevada to take the biggest hit.
Now as spring approaches Munoz has his eye on the weather.
MUNOZ: Hopefully snow will continue to fall and temperatures will stay low enough to keep that snowpack in the mountains then let it melt and feed the river system. (0:11)
If rain and snow continue to fall, the extra water would put off the threat of rationing in Phoenix, Tucson and Las Vegas for another five years. On April 1st the Bureau of Reclamation will measure water levels at Lake Powell upstream of Lake Mead to see if there's enough melted snowpack to release water downstream.
In Flagstaff I'm Laurel Morales.