SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – For the first time since June 2020, the State of Utah has dropped below extreme drought levels, though the state isn’t completely out of the woods yet.

In the most recent update from the National Integrated Drought Information System, zero percent of the state is listed in ‘extreme’ or ‘exceptional’ drought conditions – the two worst levels of drought.

This time last year, zero percent of the state was in an ‘exceptional’ drought, but 36.13% of Utah was considered to be in an ‘extreme’ drought.

The drought monitor still shows 20% of Utah in severe drought, mainly throughout the middle of the state. A large portion of Utah – 64% – is considered to be in a moderate drought.

Utah’s ease of drought conditions can be attributed to an incredible and intense winter. It feels like snow has been falling constantly since November, but the snowfall is breaking state records. In 1983, heavy snowfall set a Snow Water Equivalent of 26 inches. As of March 30, 2023, Utah has reached a Snow Water Equivalent of 27.5 inches.

With more mountain snow and valley rain on the way, drought conditions are expected to continue to improve. Over the weekend a low-pressure system is moving through Utah that is expected to bring a foot or two of snow to the northern mountains. There will be a small break in the wet weather on Saturday, but going into April next week, another storm system is expected to bring even more snow and rain.

While it feels like there is no shortage of wet weather, there is still a long way to go before Utahns can officially say the drought is over. Warmer months are on the way and the state is sure to dry up again. Last summer, Utah broke summer heat records after a late August and early September streak of triple-digit days.

At the end of August 2022, 3% of the state was in ‘exceptional’ drought conditions and 62.27% was considered to be in an ‘extreme’ drought.

Utah residents are encouraged to make the most of the exceptional start to the water year and conserve the water the state has gained so far. Resources and guides on how to help conserve Utah water can be found on the Utah Division of Water Resources website.