UTAH'S FLOOD WATCH

Meteorologist says Utah snow melt continues at ideal pace

May 12, 2023, 6:18 PM | Updated: May 13, 2023, 3:05 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — There is still a lot of snow that needs to melt and runoff in Utah’s mountains above 9,000 feet.  Most of the stations that measure snowpack on the Wasatch Front have now lost more than half their water.

During the last few weeks, Utah has experienced flooding with damage to property, homes, and infrastructure


Click here for all current and upcoming forecasts on Utah’s flooding and resources to protect your home.


A professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Utah, says the melt-off has gone well considering how deep the snowpack was several weeks ago, and how much more snow still needs to melt. 

“We’re getting rid of the low and mid-elevation snowpack, and I think by and large that’s good news,” Jim Steenburgh, a.k.a., “Professor Powder,” said.

Melting snow

Utah’s snow at lower elevations continues to melt at an ideal pace but a meteorologist says there is still a lot of snow in areas about 9,000 feet. (KSL TV)

He pulled up some graphs that show how much water is left in the snowpack, and how that compares with other big snow years like 1983 and 2011.  Parleys Summit, at mid-elevation, has less than 14 inches of snow water equivalent left. 

“Less snow on the ground than we did 2010/11 year, which is this green line that I just put on and the 1983/1984 years,” Steenburgh said. 

That means there’s less water still to come down for potential flooding than there was in those other deep snowpack years.  He estimates there are only 10 days of snowpack left at Parleys Summit.

Looking at snow water equivalent (SWE) statewide, there’s less water in the snowpack now than there was in several other big years. 

“It doesn’t necessarily mean we are out of the woods yet, but we’re not so far out on a limb, as we were a couple of weeks ago.“

Above 9,000 feet it’s a different story.

“That snowpack at upper elevations still hasn’t started to come off yet,” the meteorologist said.

Snow on Utah peaks

Utah’s snow at lower elevations continues to melt at an ideal pace but a meteorologist says there is still a lot of snow in areas about 9,000 feet. (KSL TV)

There’s still deep snow at Snowbird and elsewhere in the high mountains. In 2011, the snowpack at Snowbird peaked in June, then dropped quickly.

“This year, Snowbird hasn’t started to melt big time yet, but they’ve lost, it’s warmed a little bit, and we’re kind of ahead of the curve compared to 10/11,” he said. 

The weather during the next three to four weeks will be critical. 

“The last couple of weeks have actually gone pretty well,” Steenburgh said. “The best we probably could have hoped for given how deep the snowpack was.”

The cooler spring weather, punctuated by several warm-ups, has led to the drawn-out melt-off that meteorologists and hydrologists had hoped for, so far.

KSL 5 TV Live

Utah's Flood Watch

Utah Lake water release...

Alex Cabrero

Utah Lake release sends 300 million gallons of water a day into the Great Salt Lake

The Utah Lake control gates in Saratoga Springs opened Thursday morning to release water into the Great Salt Lake.

16 days ago

(KSL TV)...

Mike Anderson

Tons of sediment cleared from Logan River to protect power generators

Tons of sediment is being pulled from the Logan River as part of a project to clean up power generators.

2 months 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. 

5 months ago

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

Carter Williams, KSL.com

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.

5 months ago

A line of storms rolls through Salt Lake Valley on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023. (Spenser Heaps/ Deseret...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Flood watches, wind advisories issued as Hilary’s remnants eke past Utah

Several flood and high wind advisories remain in effect throughout Utah most of Monday, and even into Tuesday, as the remnants of Hurricane Hilary move through parts of Utah.

6 months ago

Sandbags were stacked at the Intermountain hospital in Cedar City as the area expected more floodin...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Cedar City braces for more flash flooding

Preparations were underway Friday for flash flooding in parts of Southern Utah, as communities like Cedar City work to make sure they don’t get a repeat of what the storms brought Thursday.

6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Meteorologist says Utah snow melt continues at ideal pace