Snowpack off to a good start in Utah; much more snow needed over next few months

Nov 30, 2022, 5:10 PM | Updated: 5:45 pm

SALT LAKE CITYThe snowstorm that swept through Utah earlier this week delivered exactly what the state needs to start recovering from the extended drought. It’s still early in the snow season, but the storms that have delivered so far, and those in the forecast, give the snowpack the kind of start it needs.

The storm delivered about 1/3-inch of snow water equivalent, and about the same amount of precipitation averaged out across the state. 

“That’s an excellent boost,” said Jordan Clayton, supervisor with the Utah Snow Survey. “Obviously, we want that number to continue to rise, but that’s definitely a nice boost.” 

The snow water equivalent statewide is more than 150% of average, but it will not likely stay that high.

Clayton said, here’s one way to think about how much snow Utah needs to keep from falling further into water deficit. 

“We’ve got about four months to go until we get to our typical peak snowpack around April 1, and we need about four times the amount of snow that we have on the ground right now. So, it’s kind of like two fours — we need about four times what we’ve got literally in our mountains right now, and we’ve got about four months to get there.”

That would deliver average snowpack for the season. 

“Obviously, if we are going to rebound to the point where we are replenishing our reservoirs, making up for that deficit, we’re going to need more than that,” he said. “But if we could at least stay on track and have an average snowpack here, that would be really helpful.”

Utah has not had seasons like that for several years. Last year, a great start to the snow season dried up in January and February.

“We were doing so well up until right around the first week of January, and then the weather turned off for about two months.”

That’s why the hydrologist is cautious with his optimism. With a couple more storms in the forecast, Utahns can hang onto their optimism for now.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Riders leaving the new shuttle. (KSL-TV)...
Shelby Lofton

Riders take advantage of new ski shuttle service for resorts in both Cottonwood Canyons

A new pilot shuttle program is offering skiers and snowboarders a new way to resorts in Big and Little Cottonwood.
19 hours ago
(File) Police Lights responding to a scene....
Michael Houck

Salt Lake man dead after accidental drowning in Millard County, police say

Authorities say a Salt Lake man has died after an accidental drowning incident late Saturday evening in Millard County.
19 hours ago
Michael Houck

Utah juvenile services staff member arrested for sexually abusing housed juvenile

A man who worked in a Utah juvenile services facility was arrested for frequently sexually abusing one of the facility's juveniles.
19 hours ago
a motorhome is on its side in the middle of a wet freeway...
Brooke Williams

Motorhome rollover blocks SB I-15 in Farmington

A motorhome blocked the interstate when it rolled over on its side.
19 hours ago
The Wasatch County Sheriff's Office and Jail in Heber City is pictured on Friday, March 12, 2021. (...
Brooke Williams

Heber man surrendered with firearm after hours-long SWAT barricade

A man in Heber City was barricaded by SWAT and police officers after he made threats while intoxicated, intending bodily harm with a firearm.
19 hours ago
Students at Juan Diego Catholic School (KSL-TV)...
Michael Locklear

Private schools celebrate state funding, expect ‘significant uptick in enrollment’

Utah’s private schools are celebrating that they’ll receive state funding for the first time through a new school choice program.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Snowpack off to a good start in Utah; much more snow needed over next few months