Thunderstorms that flooded the streets of Reno last week may have brought drought relief as far south as Lake Mead.
Climatologists says until that rain, the Southern Nevada water reservoir had dropped to a near critical level. Its surface was just 1,075 feet above sea level.
Kelly Redmond is a climatologist with the Reno-based Desert Research Institute. He says water users in Nevada and Arizona would have their supplies cut if Lake Mead's surface level dropped below that threshold.
"And these recent rains have helped bring it above that level," says Redmond. "So that we may be out of a zone of concern here for the remainder of this year. And maybe it’s been put off until next year."
Redmond says pockets of warm water off the west coast of North America may have caused the recent storms. Scientists refer to the pockets of warm Pacific water as "blobs." He says the weather pattern known as El Niño may have also been a factor.
Redmond will be on "Insight with Beth Ruyak" at 9 a.m.
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