UTAH (ABC4) – As Utah continues experiencing an unprecedented drought, state officials are constantly hoping Mother Nature will replenish Utah’s water levels.
With recent rainfall and snow covering parts of Utah, how much rainfall did cities across the state actually receive?
The area that received the most rainfall is Eden with 3.77 inches over the holiday weekend. Higher elevations and northern Utah cities fared much better than central and southern cities.
A snapshot of the amount of rainfall covering Utah cities during the Memorial Day storm:
- Eden — 3.77 inches
- Liberty — 3.55 inches
- Beus Canyon — 2.47 inches
- Centerville — 2.46 inches
- Sherwood Hills — 2.34 inches
- Big Cottonwood Canyon — 1.68 inches
- Little Cottonwood Canyon — 1.54 inches
- Hill Air Force Base — 1.15
- Ogden-Hinckley Airport — 1.39 inches
- Logan-Cache Airport — 1.14 inches
- Salt Lake City — 1.04 inches
- Salt Lake City International Airport – 0.85
- Provo — 0.85 inches
- South Jordan — 0.56 inches
- Tooele — 0.28 inches
- St. George — 0.03 inches
The Utah Division of Water Resources (DNR) says currently, 99% of Utah is currently experiencing both extreme and severe drought. Utah’s reservoir levels are 10% lower than it was during the same time last year.
“Our lands are tinder dry, and with May and June forecasted to be hotter and drier than previous years, we are also gearing up for a challenging wildfire season,” said Brian Steed, executive director of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “We need people to continue to conserve to stretch our limited water supply and exercise good Fire Sense to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires.”
Water officials say so far, 95% of Utah’s water supply comes from snowpack. Above-average storms are still needed to replenish reservoirs. At this point, officials say there is a “low chance of these below-normal snow levels refilling Utah’s reservoirs.”
With dry summer months ahead, wildfire season remains an elevated risk to Utah.
“The majority of human-caused wildfires this year have been due to agricultural burning as individuals prepare their canals and property for irrigation,” officials say.
Experts say the fire potential may increase to above normal during mid to late May and through June over higher elevations throughout central and southern Utah.
“By July, the higher terrain of the Sierra Front into northern Utah will likely see above-normal fire potential due to the drought once the snow melts and fuels cure,” says DNR. “The monsoon is expected to be fairly robust and on time with fire potential decreasing over the southern half of the Great Basin by July.”
Wildlife officials are urging locals to recreate safely outdoors this summer and to always practice fire safety as the drought continues in Utah.