Will El Niño bring snow to Utah this winter? KSL Meteorologist says, maybe

Sep 26, 2023, 9:00 PM

El Nino could help Utah, but it could hurt Utah, KSL Meteorologist says....

FILE: Snow coats the trees and cars in Edwards, Colo. The new snow was wet and heavy. (Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily via AP)

(Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — Is Utah in for another big winter? Maybe. With a lot of excitement about El Niño, and coming off last year’s historic winter, many Utahns are hopeful.

“In the past, we have had very strong winters or big-snow winters with El Niños,” said KSL Meteorologist Brett Benson. “We’ve also had dry ones. And the same thing with La Niñas.”

Benson says last year’s historic winter saw a La Niña pattern for a time before switching to an El Niño.

El Niño and this coming winter

El Niño could play a role in whether Utah gets another snowy winter. But, Benson says it’s not a guarantee.

He says an El Niño means the Pacific Northwest is looking at warmer weather, while the Southwest has the potential for more rain, said Benson, “Those jet streams move, and we get some precipitation from the south, or we get some precipitation from the north, and it’s just really how much of those wiggles, if you will, that we get in the jet streams. That’s what going to decide if we have a big winter or not.”

So, here’s to hoping for wiggles.

Utah needs another good, snowy winter

Benson says we need weather regularly during the winter to get more snow. And despite last year’s historic snowfall, he says we really need another good year.

“We are no way out of the woods,” he said. “We could have drought again this winter.”

As winter approaches, Utahns are keeping a close eye on the weather patterns, hoping for these favorable “wiggles” in the jet streams that could bring the much-needed snow.

“If we could get that 500-700 inches, maybe a little bit more, that would be fantastic,” said Benson, “that’s what we really need.”

Last year’s record-breaking snowfall was a welcome relief, but it’s not enough to guarantee a long-term solution to Utah’s ongoing water concerns. A single good winter can provide temporary relief, but a sustained period of above-average snowfall is what Utah truly needs to mitigate the persistent threat of drought.

With Salt Lake City only six weeks from its typical first snowstorm, Utahns are holding their breath, hoping Mother Nature will be generous again.


As water year ends, reservoirs around Utah are in a “good place”

An El Niño winter is coming. Here’s what that could mean for the US

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


Temperatures reached record highs this weekend, while many Utahns experienced power outages....

Britt Johnson

Thousands of Utahns left without power amidst record temperatures

22,000 Utahns were without power over the weekend, some for 30 minutes, some for almost ten hours, while temperatures reached record highs.

4 hours ago

air quality in utah takes a hit as smog settles over the city...

Adam Small

Wildfire smoke moving into the Wasatch Front

Air quality in Utah could be unhealthy for sensitive groups in some areas due to wind bringing in wildfire smoke from the Pacific Northwest.

1 day ago

White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park. (Ravell Call)...

Tim Hughes

Plan ahead when hiking in the summer heat

A father and daughter died while hiking in the heat at Canyonlands, pointing to the importance of preparation and hydration.

2 days ago

Excessive heat over the weekend caused road damage on Interstate 15 in Davis County, leading to mul...


Excessive heat causes Interstate 15 buckling, damages multiple vehicles in Davis County

Excessive heat over the weekend caused road damage in Davis County, leading to multiple vehicles being damaged.

2 days ago

An evacuation order is in place for Shurtz Canyon and upper basin above the Graff Point Fire....

Kennedy Camarena

Evacuation order in place for Shurtz Canyon and upper basin above Graff Point Fire

The Graff Point Fire in Iron County is growing and has caused an evacuation order to be put in place in the area.

4 days ago

Utah air quality is going down and it could get worse...

Josuee Sanchez

Utah air quality is deteriorating and could get worse

Utah is lacking of good air quality due to wildfires but it is mostly because of the hot weather.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

Will El Niño bring snow to Utah this winter? KSL Meteorologist says, maybe