SPRING LAKE, Utah- (News4Utah) – Many folks in Utah County are cleaning up after heavy rain, but even as a muddy mess, storms brought much-needed water. Our new water year started October 1st, and a wet pattern would really benefit the state.
“We had extremely dry conditions. At the Salt Lake Airport, we only rained 8 days the entire summer, and most of those were just a hundredth, maybe five hundredths. Very small amounts,” Brian McInerney, Hydrologist for the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City said.
We saw meager snowpack last year, a pretty dry spring and then incredibly hot, dry conditions throughout the summer. Vernal and Blanding dealt with the driest water years on record, while Cedar City and Salt Lake had numbers way below average.
“We had 50 % snowpack in the mountains last winter that yielded about 40% runoff. Go farther down to central Utah we find that number even less, then you go farther south to Virgin river basin, they had about 20% snow and even less runoff,” Brian McInerney, Hydrologist for the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City said.
A pattern like this hits our reservoirs hard, and a repeat of the trend would leave the state in a very dire position.
“Last year at this time we were 80-85% full. You can see the major difference, this hot, dry summer drew down water supplies to the point that we have 42% now. We don’t want to put these years back to back, it’s similar to a bank account,” Brian McInerney, Hydrologist for the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City said.
Draining our water savings account would mean we were relying on the weather pattern to produce, which hasn’t been the case in the last several years.
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