WEATHER

Snowpack water levels in Utah reach healthy range, with more snow on the way

Mar 12, 2024, 8:36 AM | Updated: 10:59 am

FILE: Trees are seen covered in snow at the Whitepine Trailhead in Alta on Monday, March 4, 2024. B...

FILE: Trees are seen covered in snow at the Whitepine Trailhead in Alta on Monday, March 4, 2024. Both Little Cottonwood Canyon and Big Cottonwood Canyon received 10 inches of fresh snow in a recent weekend. As of Friday March 8, Utah's snow water equivalent, or the amount of water in the statewide snowpack, reached an average of 16 inches. (Marielle Scott, Deseret News)

(Marielle Scott, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY— Snowpack water levels in Utah are healthy and more snow is on the way to Utah. Each snowflake adds to an already healthy annual snowpack.

As of Friday March 8, Utah’s snow water equivalent, or the amount of water in the statewide snowpack, reached an average of 16 inches.

Utah’s median peak — meaning the average peak snow water total from every snowpack in recorded state history is also 16 inches.

So, even if the Beehive State didn’t see another snowflake this winter, the snowpack and in-turn the water supply, would still be in good shape.

Utah’s reservoir levels are already over 80% on average around the state, mostly because of last year’s record winter. Add a healthy snowpack to that, and most reservoirs should fill again this spring.

Some reservoirs, like Utah Lake, are already full and releasing excess water downstream. Much of that water is heading into the Great Salt Lake.

A healthy snowpack on top of reservoir levels isn’t just great news for people and the water we use, it’s also just what we need help the Great Salt Lake and Lake Powell.

As of Tuesday, Great Salt Lake is just shy of 4,194 feet above sea level. This is more than five feet above the lake’s all-time record low set in November 2022. Additionally, this is about the level the lake reached after last year’s record snowpack and spring runoff.

More importantly, the lake is only two feet shy of the minimum height in it’s range that experts consider healthy.

Lake Powell is only a little over 32% full. However, that’s up 10% from a record low set in early 2023.

More snow on the way

More rain and snow is coming to the Wasatch Front, as well as the rest of the state this week.

KSL Meteorologist Matt Johnson said valley rain and mountain snow will begin Tuesday and continue into Wednesday, with a chance of valley snow Wednesday morning.

The storm then progresses into Central and Southern Utah on Thursday.

Johnson is predicting a quarter to a half-inch of rain in the valleys along the Wasatch Front. The mountains could get six inches to a foot of snow, with more forecasted in the Cottonwoods.

Given the current snowpack levels, all that snow is expected to be excess water available to us this spring.

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