ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Mike Taite lives about a mile away from Lake Arlington, and he remembers times when the lake was even lower than it currently is.
“It’s still really low, but it’s better than what it has been before though,” he said.
The Arlington reservoir was the biggest beneficiary from the weekend rain showers. Water levels are up more than a foot, U.S. Geological Survey reports show.
“It’s a small, shallow lake,” Taite said, “Any change in weather changes it dramatically.”
Other area lakes rose just a few inches. Because Lake Arlington is in an urban area, it is surrounded by more concrete and pavement, which creates more runoff into the lake and allows it to fill up quicker.
“I think we’ve turned the corner,” said David Marshall with the Tarrant Regional Water District, “Instead of our stages dropping I think they’ll hold steady or start to increase.”
At Lake Benbrook, there is water around the marina now, but that water is only a couple of inches deep.
The biggest progress isn’t in lake levels but in soil moisture, Marshall said.
“The soil moisture is saturated,” he said. “All the stock tanks are full; the reservoirs are starting to rise; the streams are starting to flow again and that’s what we want to see. That means that every rainfall event we see over the wintertime we’ll start to see more and more recovery.”
But the drought is far from over.
While residents and even wildlife seemed to appreciate the rain, it will take much more to make a dent in the historical drought: Climatologists say the conditions are essentially guaranteed to continue until at least early summer.
The Texas Tribune reported on Nov. 30 that a research associate wit the Earth Research Laboratory at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said therei s a 40 percent chance that La Nina – which brings the drought conditions stateside – will return for a third straight year.
But more immediately, North Texas would need about 10 rain events similar to the one this weekend to bring lake levels up enough to even lift water restrictions.