BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah (ABC4 News) – In the next seven to 10 days, a string of rain and snowy weather will continue building Utah’s snowpack, a later-than-usual cold stretch that could lead to early-June flooding.
“We’ve got about a week to 10 days of cold weather,” said Brian McInerney, a hydrologist with National Weather Service.
“We could put about 3 to 4 inches of water in the mountains,” added McInerney.
“We’re delaying the melt by seven to 10 days. And that delay pushes us farther into the Spring, we’re also adding to the snowpack. And our probability of getting higher peak flows than we like is ever present,” said McInerney.
Higher peak flows, he says, means a higher chance of flooding in areas like Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons.
“Early June, we’re going to have really big river flows. And these river flows are going to be incredibly cold and fast and really dangerous. We’ve already had one fatality this year,” said McInerney.
So far, major flooding has been avoided as snow has melted from the mountains in a relatively steady fashion over the course of spring.