Utah Climate and Water Report reveals dry conditions statewide

Snowshoeing in Big Cottonwood Canyon. December 18th, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY – The February Utah Climate and Water Report shows that Utah is dryer than normal, and that conditions may not get better as the winter progresses.

According to the report released on Feb. 1 by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, both soil and air temperatures are above normal levels across the state. Many areas have seen record-breaking high temperatures this year, and have had lower than usual precipitation and snowfall. Conditions in valleys across the state have remained dryer than normal with southern regions of Utah remaining at near record-breaking lows.

For mountainous regions, the majority of the state is seeing less snow pack than usual.

“Thanks to two storms in January, snowpack in Southern Utah has been pulled out of below abysmal up to just abysmal,” the report stated. “So now, instead of being the worst snowpack on record, most of the basins south of Provo fall within the worst five years on record.”

Excluding the northernmost mountain basins which have normal snow pack, the rest of Northern Utah ranges from 49 to 58 percent of normal snow amounts.

“While there’s still a chance (albeit really small) of a turnaround, Southern Utah and some areas in Northern Utah should prepare for a very poor runoff year,” the report stated. “While reservoir storage is well above-average levels for this time of year, water managers should prepare for runoff flows well below average across the state of Utah.”

The full report by the  Natural Resources Conservation Service can be read here.