UTAH DROUGHT

Despite recent storms, Utah’s drought is very far from being over

Mar 9, 2022, 6:51 PM | Updated: 9:30 pm
Image of snow covered mountains surrounded by fog...
Utah's Oquirrh Mountains covered in snow and surrounded by fog. Photo credit: Paul Nelson/KSL NewsRadio

SALT LAKE CITY — Don’t be fooled by the recent storms.  Weather watchers say the storms did not make a significant dent in Utah’s drought, and in some ways, our drought problem is worse than a year ago.

Officials at ski resorts say they are grateful for the latest storms that dropped over a foot of fresh powder on their slopes.  However, Snowbird Resort Spokesperson Sarah Sherman says they’re still a bit behind what they should normally have.  She says they would have 400 total inches of snow by now in a normal year, but they’re sitting at around 300 inches in 2022. 

Still, she says conditions are great on the mountains. And it’s possible they can still get a lot of fresh powder if we have another “Miracle March.”

“It doesn’t always happen,” Sherman said.  “Weather changes every single year, but it really isn’t uncommon for us to see snowfall, and sometimes a lot of snowfall into March.”

Utah’s drought

On a statewide level, the snow-water equivalent is only 84 percent of what we would consider “normal,” according to the National Weather Service of Utah.  There are only 26 days left until the usual peak of the snow season. And Meteorologist Alex DeSmet says we only had 68 percent of that average peak total.

DeSmet said, “We were able to get close to a normal winter, in terms of snow-water, but it wasn’t enough to erase deficits.”

There are some things working in the state’s favor, though.  For instance, DeSmet says the soil moisture levels are much higher than they were last year, which would allow more water to reach the reservoirs and not get absorbed by dry dirt.

“If you consider the ground like a sponge, last year the sponge was very dry.  This year, the sponge has some water in it, but it’s certainly not saturated,” he said.

At the same time, some things are worse than 12 months ago.  DeSmet says the state’s reservoirs don’t have as much water stored away as they did by this time in 2021. 

He said, “We’re at 61 percent, this year, for reservoir storage.  Last year, we were at 72 percent.”

Read more:

Today’s Top Stories

Utah Drought

Salt Lake County is working to make sure its golf courses don't use as much water in the drought....
Martha Harris

Salt Lake County says it has decreased water-use on its golf courses

Salt Lake County says it has back water usage on its golf courses. The county says it has done by changing how they water.
1 day ago
Low water levels are plaguing the Great Salt Lake for several summers now....
Dan Bammes

Lake Powell is sitting low; this group is trying to raise the water levels

Lake Powell has been drying up for years. and one group wants its levels go up by 60 feet. But that's not how a 2017 drought plan had it mapped.
4 days ago
Multiple Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints buildings are featured in the photo. The churc...
Michele Rowe

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints looks for ways to reduce water usage across it’s properties

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement today about the steps they are taking to help with the drought.
10 days ago
Lynndyl has run out of water...
Kira Hoffelmeyer

This Southern Utah town has run out of water in the middle of June

An entire Utah town in Millard County is now out of water on June 16. It's because of a pump issue.
16 days ago
fireworks Utah...
Curt Gresseth

Is it time to ban fireworks in Utah? For some, the answer is yes.

A recent survey found that 40% of Utahns who were asked about banning fireworks this year said yes.
24 days ago
golf course in Spanish Fork. Amid the drought it went through an update...
Curt Gresseth

Spanish Fork golf course tees off against Utah’s drought

The mayor of Spanish Fork describes the changes made at the city's Oaks Golf Course to save water during Utah's historic and ongoing drought.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Despite recent storms, Utah’s drought is very far from being over