Updated 07/23/2012 07:15 PM
Susquehanna River levels low
Lawns and farms aren't the only places that are drying up this summer. Water levels on the Susquehanna River are also below normal due to the high heat. Our Melissa Kakareka tells us what the low levels mean and whether or not they are expected to get better any time soon.
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SOUTHERN TIER, N.Y. -- The Susquehanna River reached its highest levels ever during last September's flood, with river crests over 35 feet in some places.
But just ten-and-a-half months later, those conditions are very different due to the impact of recent heat. For instance, the river level in Vestal on Monday was just 1.8 feet.
"It’s been very warm and we've had a lot of sunshine, which leads to more evaporation, which dries out the soils more," said National Weather Service Meteorologist Dave Nicosia.
While the river does normally reach its lowest flows during July and August, officials with the Susquehanna River Basin Commission say water levels for the Susquehanna River are about 50 to 60 percent below normal in the Broome County region right now.
Still, forecasters say it’s doubtful the river will reach a record low level. That record set in Vestal in 1939 when the river was .98 feet.
"So the fact we're going to have more clouds, more normal precipitation, it probably won't get any worse than it is right now, it might even come up a little bit," said Nicosia.
But they say the low levels shouldn't make people think the region is immune to potential problems.
"It doesn't take long for these river systems to fill up, so if we got hit head on by a tropical storm again, we could have problems, so that’s something to keep in mind," said Nicosia.
Meaning that current river levels may continue to change as the summer goes on.