Historic October rain helping Utah escape extreme drought

Local News

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — Utah is seeing historic rain levels, breaking records back to 2004.

This is the most precipitation in the month of October dating back to 2004 and there are still five days to go.

All of this precipitation is helping the state’s reservoir levels.

It’s going to take some time to recover from this drought, one of the worst in Utah history, but according to the Utah Division of Water Resources, this storm’s precipitation has made a dent.

ABC4’s meteorologists gathered data that said more than 3.16 inches of rain have fallen in Salt Lake City in October thus far and the Salt Lake City Airport has had more than 3.4 inches of rain.

The Utah Division of Water Resources said there’s no precipitation amount too small but they hope this level of rain and snow can keep up.

“It’s great and we will take every little bit that we can get,” said Utah Division of Water Resources director Candice Hasenyager.

Last year, less than one-third of an inch of rain fell in Salt Lake City.

“We are so grateful for all of the precipitation that we have received, especially trying to get out of the drought, this is a great start to the water year,” said Hasenyager.

The Division of Water Resources said it’s all about snowpack because rain makes a little dent in the reservoir levels.

However, if the precipitation levels keep up, the drought could be over in the next few years.

On average the month October gets around one inch of precipitation.

“We get some two or three years of great snowpack and good runoff we could see a rebound in both our reservoir levels and Great Salt Lake,” said Hasenyager.

The Great Salt Lake’s water level hit a record low in July and due to its size, it will take longer to recover and replenish.

Utah is 26 days into the water year and has already accounted for almost one-third of all the rain that fell in 2020 alone.

Utah’s Division of Water Resources said these storms are a great sign to helping the drought.

Because of how unpredictable the weather can be, the Division of Water Resources said Utahns need to control what they can control and make sure they aren’t overwatering and conserve as much as they can. 

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