The National Resources Conservation Service released its Utah Water Supply Outlook Report, and after a very snowy winter, it’s safe to say that things are looking good.
As of April 1, which hydrologists count as the peak date for snowpack accumulation, the water in Utah’s snowpack comes in at 140% of normal. Last year’s snowpack was only 64% of the median snow water equivalent. March’s storms alone brought about five additional inches of water to Utah’s mountains.
National Weather Service hydrologist Brian McInerney says this winter was exactly what Utah needed. Last year was quite warm, he says, so precipitation fell mostly as rain.
“This year hasn’t been the case—it’s been cold continually all through the winter," McInerney said. "We have snow down to 6,000 feet, maybe 5,000 feet, and it stays there, and we just kept adding to it. We haven't had a premature melt so far, and it doesn't look like we're going to do that, so all these contributed to a really good ski year and a really good water year for the water people across the state.”
The report predicts that snowmelt runoff will fill Utah’s small and medium-sized reservoirs and will improve water levels at large ones. Storms in the next 10 days will likely bring additional inches of snow to Park City’s highest elevations.