UTAH'S WATER

Utah’s Snowpack Off To Strong Start In Wake Of Winter Storm

Jan 21, 2019, 5:59 PM | Updated: Jan 24, 2019, 9:24 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Don’t let the slush and snow in your yard fool you, Utah is still mired in an extended drought. This wet snowstorm is exactly what our communities need throughout this winter.

According to KSL meteorologists, we need every drop of this to recharge our reservoirs in the spring, and residents are enjoying it, too.

“It cleans up our air here in Salt Lake, and gives us water for our watersheds,” said Linda Pace, who was out walking her dog Monday morning in quite a snowstorm.

Snowpack this year has already been dramatically better than what Utah experienced a year ago.

“It was a bad winter for us,” said Pace.

One year ago, snowpack across Utah was about 50 percent of normal, and even lower in some areas. That led to poor runoff and dwindling levels in all reservoirs across the state.

This year, as drought continues throughout our state, Utah needs better than average snowfall.

“An average snow pack this year would be good, and get us back to where would like to see it,” said KSL meteorologist Grant Weyman. “It would be nice to go even higher and get those reservoirs even higher than where we want them to be.”

That’s why these big snowstorms in the winter are so critical to our water supply throughout the rest of the year. There’s plenty of snow to play in, but this storm is doing wonders for water storage in all of our communities.

Right now, Weyman says snowpack percentages across the state are nearly all above normal, and this wet storm will make a big difference to those totals.

The snowpack percentages as of Monday morning – before the storm was finished – showed some drainages in Utah nearly as high as 120 percent to 130 percent of normal snowpack.

“That’s really good,” said Weyman. “That’s not counting what we’re getting today. By tomorrow morning, we’ll probably bump those numbers up a little bit. By tomorrow morning, those mountains are looking at grand totals of one to two feet of new snow.”

That’s great news for the drought. Utah needs a snow storm just about every week in the winter to keep snowpack percentages at about average.

Snowpack will be in good shape if the percentages are still above average April 1,  when the Utah snowpack should be at its peak.

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Utah’s Snowpack Off To Strong Start In Wake Of Winter Storm