Wettest May on record for Bristol Bay

May 26, 2015

Two weeks of near constant rain set new record and cause high water levels for area lakes and rivers.

High water levels at Aleknagik Lake late last week.
Credit Carolyn Smith

NOAA has announced this is the wettest May on record for Bristol Bay. NOAA Meteorologist Joe Wegman says the weather station in King Salmon has recorded 3.32 inches so far this month.

"And of course there is still a week left in May and the forecast continues to say rain. So it only looks like over the next week they'll continue to add to that record,” said Wegman.

The previous record was 3 inches from 1941. NOAA sent out a warning statement Monday stating that:

AREAS NORTH AND WEST OF DILLINGHAM HAVE BEEN IMPACTED WITH PERSISTENT RAIN OVER THE PAST WEEK...WITH SOME AREAS RECEIVING AN ESTIMATED 3 TO 4 INCHES. THIS HAS RESULTED IN STEADILY RISING WATER LEVELS ON AREA RIVERS DRAINING THE WOOD RIVER MOUNTAINS...SUCH AS THE NUYAKUK...NUSHAGAK...AND WOOD RIVERS. CONTINUED SLOW RISING OF THESE RIVERS DRAINING THE WOOD-TIKCHIK LAKE SYSTEM ARE LIKELY THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS.

Eric Halloway with the River Forecast Center for the National Weather Service says the residents need to be mindful of high water levels.

"So we still haven't reached the peak from all the rain fall that has fallen so that tells us that you still have to keep mindful for a significant amount of time, maybe into this weekend," said Halloway. "It's going to take awhile for all this water to drain out of the system.”

Halloway says he has not heard of any flooding at this point but the forecast center continues to monitor the situation.