Utah’s snowpack is falling behind and the forecast doesn’t look too helpful

Dec 27, 2023, 2:00 PM

Image of man-made snow increasing the snowpack at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City on Monday, Nov...

FILE: Man-made snow is blown onto the mountain at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City on Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY— Utah’s statewide snowpack totals are trending the wrong way.

As of Wednesday morning, Utah’s snow water equivalent (the amount of water in the snowpack) is 3.9 inches. Compared to historical averages, this is 28% below the normal 5.4 inches of water usually contained in the snowpack by Dec. 27.

Utah’s current snow water by region

If you break down that statewide number by region, almost all of Utah’s mountains are below where they should be in terms of water in the snowpack.

As of Wednesday, only the small Raft River region in far northwestern Utah has above-average totals in terms of snow water equivalent at 111% (100% is exactly normal).

Snow water totals are better the further north you go in Utah. The mountains in the Bear River regions around Logan and part of northeastern Utah are in the second-best shape at 13% below normal.

Weber and Davis county mountains are 17% below normal. The mountains from Salt Lake County to around the Utah County line are 28% below normal. The Tooele region is 33% below normal.

Southwestern Utah is in the worst shape. This week it’s 62% below historical averages.

Future outlook

“When we start off this rough … it’s definitely a little nerve-racking to think about,” said KSL Meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke.

Van Dyke said in terms of snow, a bad December historically is not kind to Utah. When that happens, more often than not, it’s followed by a dry January and February, which is bad news if Utahns want to avoid risking falling back into drought.

However, it’s not a done deal. Van Dyke said in 1996, Utah had a very dry December, but, bounced back with huge totals in January and February. But, she said that’s the lone exception, meaning history may not be on our side at this point.

“This type of weather pattern … makes me nervous that we might just see more of this,” Van Dyke said. “It just keeps putting pressure on January and February for us to have even bigger months than we would normally have to have.”

Van Dyke said there isn’t another potential storm in the forecast until late in the first week of January.

Months to go before spring

On the bright side, not all hope is lost. Utah’s snowpack peaks in early April, meaning we have three more months primed to drop snow in Utah’s mountains.

Van Dyke said if we want to catch up, we’re going to need consistent storms or at least one big storm at least every couple of weeks. She said even one big storm can turn the tables.

“It can change, [we] can get out of this pattern and in a big way … we’ll have to see,” Van Dyke said.

Related reading:

We want to hear from you.

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


Alpine School District's proposed split has been blocked from the November ballot....

Heather Peterson

Alpine School District’s proposed split has been blocked from the November ballot

A bill has been passed that prevents local school board from initiating a process to split the Alpine School District's proposal

1 hour ago

Safety officials urge public to Never Leave Children in vehicles....

Eric Cabrera

The heat is coming; safety officials urge public to never leave children in vehicles

Intermountain Primary Children's Michelle Jamison asks parents and the public in general to help if encounter children in vehicles.

2 hours ago

Snelgrove Ice Cream with its iconic sign at 2100 South 1300 East in Sugar House....


Snelgrove Ice Cream, an iconic Salt Lake City brand, is making its comeback

Snelgrove Ice Cream is coming back. This ice cream shop was founded on 1929 by Charles Rich Snelgrove in Salt Lake City. Now, founder's granddaughter is opening back a store in St. George.

18 hours ago

Quagga mussels...

Don Brinkerhoff

Owners of non-motorized watercraft in Utah required to train on quagga mussel prevention

Before you launch your boat in Utah this summer, a new law requires you to take an online training course about the prevention of quagga mussels.

18 hours ago

New fire restrictions are now in effect in southwest Utah and northwest Arizona as "rapidly increas...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Utah, Arizona enact new restrictions amid ‘rapidly increasing fire danger’

New fire restrictions are now in effect in Utah and Arizona as "rapidly increasing fire danger" builds at the start of summer.

20 hours ago

police look for hit-and-run driver, image of the car, a newer model Ford Explorer SUV , shown...

Heather Peterson

SLCPD asks for help finding hit-and-run driver

Salt Lake City Police are looking for a hit-and-run driver involved in an accident last week that left a woman severely injured.

20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

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.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Utah’s snowpack is falling behind and the forecast doesn’t look too helpful