SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – For the past few weeks, our state has been in a constant pattern of a day or two of moisture and then a day or two of dry weather. This has been great for helping to reduce our drought conditions, and the snow has been wonderful for more than just the skiers.
Taking a look at just January gives us a lot of hope for great numbers, but before going into them let’s remember that last year in Salt Lake City, we had a very strong October and decent December, but November and January-April were very weak. All totaled, October through April netted us 8.89″ of rain (3.49″ of that in October), and the snow totals were low across the state. What started off so strong fizzled out into a disappointing season for moisture.
Now let’s take a look at the good news for the 2022-23 water year (October-September). In a reverse of last year, we started off with a less than stellar October, but since then we’ve had a very healthy flow of moisture across the state. In Salt Lake City, we have had 2.55″ of rain as of Monday, which is over an inch and a half over the normal amount for the month. With November and December also being well above normal we are looking at 7.71″ of rain – almost half of the normal amount for a normal water year (15.52″). This is all with our historically best months (March-May) still ahead of us.
Snow totals in Salt Lake haven’t been quite as strong as the rain, but we’re still above normal for this time of year. Currently, we are at 33.5″ in the city, ahead of the normal 27.4″ for this time of year. But this is mostly due to a very strong December that watched 22.6″ of snowfall, nearly doubling the normal numbers for the month. Countering this has been the snowfall in the mountains which is well above normal, and both the resorts and our snowpack are grateful.
Northern Utah isn’t the only place seeing above-average moisture, we’re getting good numbers across the state. Cedar City is currently 1.7″ above its normal precipitation totals for the water year, thanks to a soggy January. But the real incredible number for Cedar City is the snow totals. As of Monday, they are 15.7″ of snowfall, over twice their normal average for the entire month (6.9″). And St. George, which had a few snowflakes land recently is already over 2″ above normal for precipitation in January.
Hopefully, we can keep these totals up as we continue through the water year in Utah. Numbers like this now are fantastic, but as we learned last year, it only takes a few months of below-average moisture to mess up everything. If we can just keep the “few days on, a few days” off pattern in place, we’ll be in great shape.