11242017Fri
Last updateFri, 24 Nov 2017 8am

Summer rains replenish Lake Chapala

As the 2017 hurricane season peaks, whipping up fierce weather across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, Lake Chapala is surging. 

And weather forecasters anticipate precipitation will continue locally and elsewhere in the country on and off through the end of this month.   

Official data reported on September 6 showed the lake standing at 62.1 percent full capacity, with a full meter gain in the water level elevation since the temporal de lluvias (rainy season) started in mid-June. It is now just 20 centimeters below the maximum level registered at the end of October 2016.

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The lake has not reached full capacity (Cota 97.8) on the elevation scale since 1978. At its best in the last decade, it topped out in 2008 at 96.7, equivalent to 84.4 percent capacity.

While Florida and the eastern U.S. coast brace for a hit by monster hurricane Irma and Jose close on its tail, Katia is churning in the Gulf of Mexico. Weathermen predict the storm will make landfall on the coast of Veracruz this weekend, triggering heavy rainfall and dangers of flooding and mudslides as its moves inland to the center of the country. That could translate into collateral impact in the Lerma-Chapala watershed.

Lakeside residents are advised to be on the alert for flooding and debris slides that may occur at this time of year when intense and prolonged storms strike the already saturated ground of the neighboring mountain range. Homes located on or below steep land and in close vicinity of creek beds are at the greatest risk.

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