How much do Big Bear Lake's water levels fluctuate throughout the year?
It is not unusual for lake levels to rise and fall regularly due to the seasons. The lake is usually highest in the late spring as a result of snow melt runoff. Throughout the summer, the lake loses water to evaporation at a rate of about 1"-2" per week. The lake is lowest in late autumn. Winter, the season where Big Bear receives its most precipitation, sees lake levels rise again as temperatures keep evaporation in check while snowfall and resulting snowmelt fill the lake.
It is not unusual for the lake to drop a few feet throughout the summer months, then regain what was lost through the wet winter months.
What is the average lake level?
Over the last 5 years, the lake has averaged being about 3' 6" from full.
Can the Big Bear Lake ever dry up?
Nobody can promise whether or not the lake will always be full. That is completely up to Mother Nature. That being said, It seems highly unlikely that the lake will dry up anytime soon.
The driest the lake has been in the last 25 plus years was in 2004, when the lake was down 17' 6". In January 2005, the valley was hit with major precipitation, almost filling the lake completely by late May!
The reality is that over the far majority of years, the lake is between full and less than 9 feet down. One might consider this range to be the "normal" fluctuation of lake levels.
Where can you find a history of these lake levels?
You can find a history of the lake levels per month at the BBMWD website, www.bbmwd.org .