Forecasters say warmer temps after latest snowstorm likely won’t lead to widespread flooding

Apr 5, 2023, 12:03 PM | Updated: Apr 17, 2023, 4:16 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A break from bitterly cold temperatures is around the corner, but many are worried about flooding if the snow melts too quickly.

Forecasters predict Salt Lake City will reach 70 degrees Monday. Monica Traphagan, senior meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s office in Salt Lake City, said that’s not too far off from the average temperature for the area in the month of April.

“About 10 degrees above normal, which is not particularly unusual,” she said. “It just seems really unusual because we’ve been so cold for this period of time.”

She said she doesn’t expect to see widespread flooding issues with this upcoming warm-up.

“In looking at our potential for flooding for northern Utah over the weekend leading into next week, it remains relatively low,” Traphagan said.

She said forecasters hope for what’s called an orderly melt of the snowpack.

“Start with the low elevation snowpack, then get to the middle elevation snowpack, and then get to the high elevation snowpack,” Traphagan said. “We’re not going to be in a situation where we’re going to be melting that mid and high elevation snowpack early.”

She doesn’t expect to see a massive amount of flooding, but northern Utah will see increased runoff.

“We are in runoff season, and those local creeks and streams are going to be running high, swift and cold,” Traphagan said. “In areas with dense snowpack and areas that have poor drainage, you’re going to have some areas of ponding and things of that nature.”

She said it’s a different forecast for southern Utah.

“You are going to have those issues with snowmelt in southern Utah in this period,” she said. “That’s something to keep in mind — those who have outdoor activities planned in southern Utah over the next few days, particularly in those slot canyons.”

The National Weather Service team in Salt Lake City said, so far, Salt Lake City is on track to gradually warm up, which is key.

“You have some days of warming then you cool down a little bit again, you come up a little bit more,” Traphagan said.

She said spring is a time for transition, but we don’t want to get too hot too quickly.

“If we get a period here in the near future where we’re suddenly up in the Salt Lake Valley up to the 80s, the 90s, then you’re going to have high elevation snowpack coming down at the same time as the mid and low elevation snowpack, and that’s when things might start to get overwhelmed,” Traphagan said. “We’re in wait and see mode and see how these temperatures behave, and that’s going to be a big driver of how our snowmelt behaves and if we see any flooding issues.”

KSL 5 TV Live


FILE - In this Aug. 12, 2021, file photo with the downtown skyline in the background, a roofer work...

Associated Press

Arizona’s biggest city has driest monsoon season since weather service began record-keeping in 1895

After a summer of extreme heat, Arizona’s most populous city is in the record books again.

7 hours ago

People walk in the rain in Salt Lake City on Aug. 22. More rain and lower temperatures are in the f...

Carter Williams,

Fall-like temperatures forecast for Utah before official season starts

Fall may begin Saturday, but it'll feel more like mid-season in parts of Utah over the next few days as a cold front passes through the state.

11 days ago

Crews work on flood mitigation in Eagle Mountain...

Brittany Tait

Eagle Mountain’s project to reduce flooding threat

After an unseasonably rainy spring, certain neighborhoods in Eagle Mountain witnessed multiple floods. 

11 days ago

A man skateboards with an umbrella as it rains in Salt Lake City on Aug. 22. Utah water officials s...

Carter Williams,

How impactful have this year’s monsoons been for Utah’s water supply?

Utah's monsoon season is slowly winding down, but not before leaving an impact on Utah's reservoirs in various ways.

17 days ago

This satellite photo from Planet Labs PBC shows flooding in Derna, Libya, on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 202...

Samy Magdy and Yousef Murad

The flood death toll in eastern Libya’s city of Derna has surpassed 5,100, a health official says

DERNA, Libya (AP) — The death toll from flooding that hit the eastern Libyan city of Derna reached more than 5,000 and was expected to rise further, a local health official said Wednesday, as authorities struggled to get aid to the coastal city where thousands remained missing and tens of thousands were homeless. Aid workers who managed […]

19 days ago

FILE - Tony Berastegui Jr., right, and his sister Giselle Berastegui drink water, July 17, 2023, in...

Associated Press

End may be in sight for Phoenix’s historic heat wave of 110-degree plus weather

The historic heat wave continues in Phoenix, but the end may finally be in sight for residents of Arizona’s largest city.

21 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

rodeo contestant on a saddle bronc...


Get Ready for the Days of ‘47 Rodeo!

The Days of '47 Rodeo is a series of events everyone in the family can enjoy, with world-class rodeo contestants vying for the gold medal.

Electric LED Lightbulb Change In Light At Home...

Lighting Design

How to Know When to Upgrade Your Lighting

This guide explores indicators that suggest it’s time for a lighting upgrade with tips to make an informed decision when you’re ready to buy. 

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Forecasters say warmer temps after latest snowstorm likely won’t lead to widespread flooding