‘Exceptional 3 weeks of snow’: Several feet of snow puts a dent in Utah’s drought

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The winter weather is putting a dent in Utah’s drought, however, there is still a long way to go to restore water levels.

The snow has been a welcoming sight in terms of recovering from the drought.

The state has had more than seven inches of snow water equivalent to date.

The National Weather Service said that is a couple of weeks ahead of pace, but the agency said it is all about consistency.

The more snow and water Utah sees, the better in terms of restoring the watershed.

For example, November was a dry month so drought levels looked bad but because of the active weather pattern the last three weeks, it shows good signs of helping the drought.

November saw roughly 1/3 an inch of precipitation and December was five times that number at 1.64 inches of precipitation.

Glen Merrill with the National Weather Service tells ABC4 any amount of snow and water is good but we won’t see the impact until runoff happens in the spring.

“Our reservoirs are sitting at about 45 to 50 percent capacity,” said Merrill. “We have a long ways to go to recharge our water system.”

Merrill called this an exception three-week period of snow.

He says typically from Oct. 1 to April 1, there is about 16 inches of snow water equivalent.

“It’s not like one year is totally gonna fix this thing,” said Merrill. “Even if we have a banner year this year we’ll need another banner year next year.”

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