Spring weather slowing melt of snowpack, and that’s good

Apr 24, 2024, 9:45 AM | Updated: 5:33 pm

sunshine on cherry blossoms shown. Spring weather...

The sun shines through cherry blossoms at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY–  As spring weather cools off, Utah’s snowpack is melting more slowly. Meteorologists say the slowdown will benefit lakes and reservoirs.

According to KSL Meteorologist Matt Johnson, about one-third of the state’s snowpack has melted in just three weeks. He added that Wednesday temperatures will climb to over 80 degrees. However, a return to the 60s is going to hit the brakes on the higher temperatures. 

“This will slow down the melting process,” said Johnson. “We want it to be done incrementally, because if we melt if off all at once, we can lose it to soil moisture, and to excess water flowing into dry tributaries and dry washes.”

Johnson said weekend rain showers will also help get more water downstream.

“The rain we see in the valleys will help to increase the soil moisture, which makes the runoff more efficient than we get from the snowmelt in the mountains.”

Johnson said to expect some snowfall in the mountains this weekend in the range of 5 to 12 inches. He added it will not be enough to add to the snowpack.

Effects on everyday Utahns

Before visiting Utah’s familiar rivers and lakes, National Weather Service Meteorologist Linda Cheng said Wednesday urged them to set some rules.

“So the main impact this will have on everyday Utahns is that… the streams are going to be running cold and fast. So it’s really important just to kind of keep children and pets away from waterways because they can be pretty dangerous.”

The melting season’s days are numbered, according to Cheng.

“[Higher elevation snowpack] is going to be melting off over the next several weeks here, probably into at least May, probably into mid- to late-May, at least.”

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Spring weather slowing melt of snowpack, and that’s good