How winds and tide conditions combined to drop Clear Lake water levels

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- This weekend's strong cold front no doubt made you take notice of the chilly weather and high winds. But for some residents along the water, they got a rare sight as well.

Those strong winds combined with tidal conditions to push the water levels lower than usual on Clear Lake. The lake, which is really a brackish harbor that feeds into Galveston Bay, is impacted by tides.

Winds were so strong this weekend behind the cold front due to a very tight pressure gradient across the state. This basically means there is a big change in pressure over a small distance. Think of it like a soda can -- when you open it, air rushes out, leaving a place of high pressure inside the can to low pressure outside the can.

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One homeowner, Dana LeConey, sent ABC13 videos of the water levels so low that someone could walk well out into the area that would normally be boating channels. Docks and signs marking the channels were fully exposed, down to the soft, muddy lake bottom.

LeConey says she has lived in the area near Waterford Harbor and Marina Del Sol for 30 years, and she's never seen the water that low.

On Monday, SkyEye 13 flew over the area and found that while water levels continued to be lower than average, the lake had recovered to the point where the bottom was no longer fully visible. Some workers were spotted standing in knee-deep water while working on a dock, where visible barnacles showed the typical water level should be two to three feet higher.
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