Currently in Chicago— May 2nd, 2022

The weather, currently.

Cool but not cold pattern this week

Takeaways for Chicago's weather:

1. Cool But Not Cold Pattern

2. Occasional Spring Showers

3. Wind Off The Lake

A cool pattern will keep us at least a bit below average all week but it won’t be as cold as last week. A wind off the lake nearly every day will keep it cooler lakeside. Monday may be the mildest day of the week with a high near 60. Highs Tuesday through Friday will fall into the middle to upper 50s. Warmer for next weekend as highs climb to near 70°F by Sunday. Best chance for some spring showers are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, but no washouts this week. A rumble of thunder possible Tuesday too.

Tim McGill

What you need to know, currently.

In an article, “Critical water reservoirs in West at all-time low,” Currently’s editor-in-chief Abbie Veitch, writes about how the climate change fueled megadrought in the American West has affected Lake Mead, the largest man-made reservoir in the United States.

The drought-stricken reservoir sits on the Colorado river along the border of Nevada and Arizona and supplies water to 25 million people. It’s also the main water source for the city of Las Vegas.

“The Colorado River, which provides water to seven western states, has been in crisis due to drought and dropping water levels for several years,” Veitch writes.

Due to human influenced climate change and Earth’s rising temperatures, Lake Mead has reached historically low water levels. In fact, the lake’s water levels have sunk so much that the top of its original water intake valve from 1971 is now exposed. And, it can’t even draw water anymore.

Veitch explains that the reservoir has three valves: the original, which can intake water at 1050 feet above sea level, one that can intake water 1000 feet above sea level and a third– the newest one– that can intake water 900 feet above sea level.

The first valve is no longer functional and if Lake Mead’s water level continues to drop— the second and third valves could see the same fate.

“If the lake dips below an elevation of 900 feet, Hoover Dam will no longer be able to release water downstream from the Colorado River to California, Arizona, and Mexico,” Veitch writes. “That’s obviously bad news.”

The water levels at Lake Powell, the second-largest reservoir on the Colorado River, is also taking a plunge, threatening Glen Canyon Dam’s ability to produce hydropower and supply electricity for more than three million people across the region.

Read the full article: Critical water reservoirs in West at all-time low.