Big storm pushes Utah’s snowpack to double last year’s

SALT LAKE CITY – A recent snowstorm pushed Utah's snowpack to its usual average, which is above average levels statewide, doubling the base seen at this time last year.

“The snow came so fast and it got deep so fast,” said Park City resident, Suzanne Cooper.

“It was really wet, really heavy, this isn’t our usual Utah light powder,” said Karrin Cornia who had driven through the storm in Parley’s Canyon

It was a nightmare for some streets across the state.

“It was just too much stuck traffic, too many people trying to move and it just turned into a mess,” said Cooper.

But according to hydrologists, these big storms are a saving grace for Utah – clearing out the inversion and building up the snowpack.

“Right now our snowpack across the state is right at 108 percent,” said NRCS hydrologist Troy Bronsten.

Bronsten said a typical storm will bring about an inch of water, but this storm was anything but average.

“We saw, in some areas, up to three inches of water,” said Bronsten. “That’s good, that’s really good.”

Compared to last year, Utah's snowpack is now seeing double.

“Last year was 50 percent, so we are over double of where our snowpack was last year at this time,” Bronsten said. “This year we got good storms that started in October, we got good ones in November, good in December and we’re getting some in January."

This pattern Bronsten thinks, will continue and pay off come spring.

“If we get a normal snowpack, a lot of the reservoirs will recover, some will fully recover,” Bronsten said.

For residents, the big snow is worth all of the plows and shoveling.

“We love the snow!” Cornia said. “This is what we’re made for and live for. Bring it on!”

Brosten said NRCS will receive new numbers Saturday morning — he thinks Utah snowpack will be sitting at 115 to 120 percent above average statewide.

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