Lake Travis, by Saturday afternoon, had risen more than a foot since Friday morning, thanks to several inches of rain that fell west of Austin Friday and Saturday morning as a line of storms moved through Central Texas and the Hill Country.
Lake Travis is still more than 60 feet below the level when full and more than 44 feet below the historic average lake level in September.
Lake Buchanan did not fare as well, with the level rising scarcely more than an inch since Thursday. Lake Buchanan is about 35 feet below full and about 25 feet below the historic average lake level in September.
“This rain event was beneficial, certainly,” said Clara Tuma, spokeswoman for the Lower Colorado River Authority. “It’s not enough to fill the lakes by a long shot, but any rain is welcome.”
The Austin area saw between two and four inches of rain, while areas of the Hill Country saw three to six and a half inches, Tuma said. A significant amount of rainfall was soaked up by the parched land, she said.
The water level in both lakes was expected to rise over the next couple of days as runoff continues to flow, Tuma said.
According to the National Weather Service, Friday’s drenching brought record rainfall to Camp Mabry, which reported 2.92 inches. The date’s previous record was 2.42 set in 1975.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport recorded 1.3 inches, Burnet reported 2.07 inches and Fredericksburg had 1.18 inches, according to the weather service.
Tuma said another deluge while the ground is saturated would send more water rushing to the reservoirs, but the weather service predicts clear, sunny days through most of the week. Forecasters say the next chance for more rain comes next weekend when another cold front could arrive.