Lake Texoma: Sep 28th UPDATE

















UPDATE: Wed 28 Sep 2011: Lowest since 1978

Lake Texoma's level dropped to 609.95 at 4p.m. on Wednesday, September 28. This is the lowest level on the big lake since 1978, or 33 years ago.

The lake level has dropped a total of more than six feet since late May with no significant rainfall expected through October 6th.


 BULLETIN: Lake Texoma is at its lowest level since 1979.

The lake reached this benchmark on Wednesday, September 7 when it dropped to 610.56’ above sea level, bringing it to the lowest level in 32 years.

Lake Texoma dropped about 1/2 inch per day in June and July and fell about an inch per day from early August to September 5th. This doesn’t sound like much, but the lake has shed more than five feet since its peak of the year on June 5th, and dropped 2 feet in August alone.

Levels were falling more slowly since Sep. 5th as power generation has been discontinued for the time being. Losses through evaporation and draw-down from local water use will continue.

Some other Lake Texoma statistics:

  • The record high level was measured during the spring 1990 flood at 644.76’. This was 4 ¾ feet above the spillway elevation of 640.0 feet.
  • The lowest level ever recorded was 599.94’ on March 20, 1957.
  • The last time a lower level was recorded on Lake Texoma than this year was in 1979 when a minimum of 609.96 occurred. We could be lower than that within two weeks if we don't get significant rainfall.
  • A reading of 610.75’ recorded in February 2004 was the previous post-1979 low level, now surpassed by 2011’s drought.
  • The flood control level varies throughout the year, but the “normal” level is considered 617.0 above sea level.

The table below documents the lake’s decline since the spring rains ended:

30-day change (feet)
June 1      615.98 
June 5                  
July 1  
Aug 1  
Sep 1 
Sep 6




**maximum observed level in 2011.



Special thanks to Tom McGrath and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers staff at Denison Dam for providing updated, more complete water level records.


Take Care,

Steve LaNore

Chief Meteorologist





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  • by Steve LaNore Location: KXII-TV on Oct 11, 2011 at 04:21 PM
    Lake Texoma was built as a flood control lake and that is its primary function with power generation taking a secondary role. I do not know the parameters for lake releases/power generation because this is based on hydrologic forecasts, downstream water threats and needs, electricity needs and a host of other factors not part of my expertise. However, I do know these operations are strictly controlled and not just done as a seat-of-the-pants decision. Also…Lake Texoma has been lower than its current level on at least 15 occasions since the 1950s. The current level is the lowest since 1978. Take Care, Steve
  • by John Location: Denison on Oct 4, 2011 at 08:28 PM
    Bob, i agree fully and do understand the water cycle. I was just caught off guard by the dumb corp comment. Maybe they are dumb, i have questioned their judgement before. Like when they held water until it went over spillway. But their models are usually correct. I would like to learn more about how they make their decisions. Steve, any help here? Thanks, john.
  • by Bob Location: Texoma on Oct 4, 2011 at 10:54 AM
    John, Keep in mind we have never lost any water. The earth has the same as day one minus any that is lost to space. Even when the red river dumps into the Gulf, evaporation generates clouds and then rain which we get as potable water:) its a nice cycle that works well as long as we don't have a high pressure dome on top of use to block precep. like we do today. it will pass and the lake will fill again. As to generation we do not need the power now so save it for when it gets in the 20's and we need it for heat:) thanks bob
  • by John Location: Denison on Oct 3, 2011 at 09:19 AM
    While I will agree, the lake is lower than normal, that is just a symptom of the lack of rainfall, not so much the use of the water. The dam was built for flood control and power generation. The lower it is, the more flood control it has. It is the only renewable energy source we have locally. I say generate more, and use the water going down the river for drinking. You get a two for one that way. Remember this, any water from the Red River that spills into the ocean is wasted.
  • by Scott on Sep 29, 2011 at 11:56 AM
    Might want to change that to 609.95 not 606.95. Don't make it worse than it is.
  • by Bob Location: Texoma on Sep 26, 2011 at 02:34 PM
    Just saw the DUMB core is allowing more ware out of the lake!! When will they stop?? When no water is left!! Give me a break, 609 is coming and they allow generation when the weather is not hot! Someone needs to wake up!! Bob
  • by Michael Location: Sherman on Sep 8, 2011 at 01:06 PM
    Are we ready for a rain because the ground is so dry if it comes a flash flood its going to really flood before the water starts soaking into the ground when it does rain we might should get ready for an area disaster .
    • reply
      by Rob on Sep 12, 2011 at 07:40 AM in reply to Michael
      I think a flash flood would have little effect. I have seen some cracks that would hold a small flood.
      • reply
        by Annette on Sep 13, 2011 at 12:25 PM in reply to Rob
        Not being funny here so please don't take it that way. There are some cracks in my yard that are so big that I can't let my chichiuaua play outside! So, depending on the depth of the flooding water, I would have to somewhat agree with you, Rob. But for the most part, you make a valid point, Michael.
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