Utah’s snowpack catches up following week of storms

Jan 15, 2024, 11:53 AM

Snowy draper neighborhood....

Snow flurries continue to fall after an overnight storm at in Draper on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024. (Marielle Scott, Deseret News)

(Marielle Scott, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY— What a difference a week makes. Seemingly non-stop storms across northern Utah over the past week have taken a struggling snowpack and turned it into a healthy one.

Just one week ago, on January 8, Utah’s snow water equivalent (the amount of water in the statewide snowpack) was 25% below average. Today, it’s about 1% above average.

“Man, we’ve been getting direct hits…nice moisture tap in these storms,” said KSL Meteorologist Matt Johnson. “That’s really turned things around.”

However, the same cannot be said for southern Utah.

According to the latest snowpack data, the southwestern Utah region is still 44% below normal. The Escalante region is 42% below normal.

Other areas of the state’s lower portion are behind, but not as bad. The southeastern Utah region is 15% below normal. The Beaver River region is 21% below normal. The Upper Sevier River region is 20% below average and the Dirty Devil region is only 7% below average.

Today, snow water totals, for the most part, get healthier the farther north you look.

Utah’s snowpack, looking forward

According to Johnson, the next storm lined up for the Beehive State comes through Wednesday. Johnson said it could drop another six inches to a foot of snow in the northern mountains.

As for Southern Utah, Johnson said the storm might have an impact as far south as the mountains east of Cedar City.

For the southern end of the state to get more snow, Utah needs more storms originating from the west and southwest. Most of the state’s recent storms came from the northwest.

Johnson said there is still plenty of time for the whole state to get more snow. Historically, he said February and March are typically the snowiest months in Utah. Meaning this past week might just be the tip of the iceberg. (Pun intended).

“I still do believe that we can end the season at or slightly above normal,” Johnson said. “This year, El Nino projections were saying that precipitation would pick up towards the second half of winter and into spring.”

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Utah’s snowpack catches up following week of storms