Flood Watch
from FRI 11:00 AM MST until SAT 11:00 PM MST, Yavapai County Mountains, Little Colorado River Valley in Coconino County, Little Colorado River Valley in Navajo County, Little Colorado River Valley in Apache County, Eastern Mogollon Rim, White Mountains, Northern Gila County, Yavapai County Valleys and Basins, Oak Creek and Sycamore Canyons, Western Pima County including Ajo/Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Tohono O'odham Nation including Sells, Upper Santa Cruz River and Altar Valleys including Nogales, Tucson Metro Area including Tucson/Green Valley/Marana/Vail, South Central Pinal County including Eloy/Picacho Peak State Park, Southeast Pinal County including Kearny/Mammoth/Oracle, Upper San Pedro River Valley including Sierra Vista/Benson, Eastern Cochise County below 5000 ft including Douglas/Wilcox, Upper Gila River and Aravaipa Valleys including Clifton/Safford, White Mountains of Graham and Greenlee Counties including Hannagan Meadow, Galiuro and Pinaleno Mountains including Mount Graham, Chiricahua Mountains including Chiricahua National Monument, Dragoon/Mule/Huachuca and Santa Rita Mountains including Bisbee/Canelo Hills/Madera Canyon, Santa Catalina and Rincon Mountains including Mount Lemmon/Summerhaven, Baboquivari Mountains including Kitt Peak, Kofa, Central La Paz, Aguila Valley, Southeast Yuma County, Gila River Valley, Northwest Valley, Tonopah Desert, Gila Bend, Buckeye/Avondale, Cave Creek/New River, Deer Valley, Central Phoenix, North Phoenix/Glendale, New River Mesa, Scottsdale/Paradise Valley, Rio Verde/Salt River, East Valley, Fountain Hills/East Mesa, South Mountain/Ahwatukee, Southeast Valley/Queen Creek, Superior, Northwest Pinal County, West Pinal County, Apache Junction/Gold Canyon, Tonto Basin, Mazatzal Mountains, Pinal/Superstition Mountains, Sonoran Desert Natl Monument, San Carlos, Dripping Springs, Globe/Miami, Southeast Gila County

NASA imagery shows Lake Mead water levels lowest in more than 80 years

July 6, 2000 - July 3, 2022 (NASA)

A megadrought impacting the Southwest continues to deplete water levels in Lake Mead, making areas that were once underwater now visible from space.

NASA released a series of images Wednesday that showed the deterioration of the lake’s level over the last two decades.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said water stages are near levels last seen in April 1937, and it’s estimated the reservoir is at 27 percent of capacity.

The series of images show an increase in light-colored fringes along the shoreline, which indicates the depleting water levels and the increasing visibility of land.

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Lake Mead satellite pictures since the year 2000 show the decreasing water level. (NASA)

NASA says this "bathtub ring" effect is typically made up of calcium carbonate and other minerals that are now visible on the sandstone around the lake’s banks.

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In addition to supplying water to residents in two countries, the reservoir is an essential source of hydropower for millions in several western states.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said lake levels at the Hoover Dam must stay above a thousand feet for hydropower turbines to operate at normal levels.

Lake levels at the dam were reported to be around 1,041 feet in mid-July, which is over a 150-foot drop since 2000 and a continuation of a 22-year downward trend.

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Forecasters do not see any long-term drought on the horizon.

A stubborn La Niña weather pattern threatens to be in control of the upcoming winter, which could mean more dry weather in the Southwest.

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US Drought Status

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