Sunday, July 12, 2020

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Moab, UT

95.3 F
Moab
More

    Report: ‘Utah’s snowpack is fantastic this year’

    Featured Stories

    Tales of Trails: Savor spectacular views from thrilling Shafer Trail

    In the 1890s, Moab pioneer brothers Frank M. And John S. Shafer developed the route from what had been a Native American pathway connecting what is now Canyonlands National Park to the river below.

    At 99, Moab man is knighted by France

    “The French people will never forget his courage and devotion to the great cause of freedom,”

    Leaving Guatemala, Part 4: ‘A year in the land of eternal spring’

    Though I planned to return someday, whether as a Peace Corps volunteer or not, this experience proved that even the best-laid plans go awry.

    Leaving Guatemala, Part 3: Sudden departure came with painful goodbyes

    Men donned wooden masks and numerous layers of sweatshirts and ponchos then proceeded to hit each other with whips as they danced around the town square.

    Leaving Guatemala Part 2: There wasn’t enough time to say goodbye

    To say I woke up on the Monday morning of the evacuation...
    Doug McMurdo
    Doug McMurdo
    Editor Doug McMurdo reports on news out of the Moab City Center, tourism, courts, change of government and more.

    Southeast Utah at 203 percent of average, compared to 45 percent in ’18

    Ken’s Lake water levels shrank to alarming levels in 2018, but a snowy winter in the La Sal Mountains should fill the reservoir during the runoff later this spring. Expected runoff should cover the dry and barren beaches in this scene.
    Photo by Doug McMurdo

    A much wetter and snowier winter than anyone expected yielded snowpack levels that were way above normal throughout Utah – and nowhere was that more apparent than in southeastern Utah, where it was 203 percent above normal, according to Troy Brosten, a Salt Lake City-based hydrologist and snow surveyor with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which operates under the umbrella of the United States Department of Agriculture.

    The year 2018, by contrast, left a dismal snowpack that was 45 percent of southeastern Utah’s normal amount.

    Snowpack statewide was up 140 percent of normal compared to two-thirds of normal statewide – 64 percent – in 2017-2018.

    “It’s official,” wrote Brosten in his statement. “Utah’s snowpack is fantastic this year.”

    The information SNOTEL (snow telemetry) sensors provided as of April 1, the day of the year Brosten said marks the typical peak of Utah’s snow accumulation season, provided positive news for a state that has seen several successive drought years.

    While southeastern Utah’s 203 percent was highest in the state, southwestern Utah came in at 190 percent. The Upper Sevier was at 162 percent and the Bear and Northeastern Uinta regions came in at 118 and 115 percent, respectively, the lowest in the state.

    Brosten said the 2018-2019 snowpack was “almost as good as the banner years of 2005 and 2011. While the whole state is doing quite well, southern Utah is having a particularly excellent winter.”

    The precipitation continued into March, a month that ended at 146 percent of average, “which is the equivalent of five additional inches of water spread across Utah’s mountains, bringing the water-year-to-date total accumulation to 24.9 inches,” reported Brosten.

    Southeastern Utah SNOTEL sites posted outstanding gains, he said, with around six inches of additional precipitation during March. Also, March’s precipitation in southeastern Utah was a robust 228 percent of average, bringing the seasonal accumulation to 159 percent of average, said Brosten.

    Of course, all this water has to go somewhere, and Brosten said, “every forecast point in Utah is predicted to have 100 percent runoff this year, including 233 percent for Mill Creek at Sheley Tunnel near Moab. The streamflow for Mill Creek at the Sheley Tunnel is also predicted to be at 233 percent of average and a whopping 293 percent of average for south Creek Reservoir near Monticello.

    Brosten said storage in Utah’s reservoirs has improved by three percent from March and the numbers show 65 percent of capacity compared to 77 percent in 2017-2018. Regarding Ken’s Lake and other small reservoirs, Brosten said he expects most small- to medium-size reservoirs will fill this year.

    Share this!

    - Advertisement -

    Latest News

    County: Mask mandate is official

    Southeast Utah Health Department Director Bradon Bradford modeled the local order after those in Salt Lake and Summit counties.

    Lionsback Resort project begins on Sand Flats Road

    The City of Moab will have oversight of the project, which was not something that was always on the table because state law allows SITLA to develop projects without input from local authorities.

    Drought conditions grip Utah; stats are grim

    It’s unlikely things will improve this late in the water year.

    State provides 75,000 more facemasks for Moab businesses, visitors

    Local businesses may pick up free face coverings at the Canyonlands Copy Center, 375 S. Main St., in Moab.

    County approves letter opposing September gas lease sales

    The oppositional letter asserts that the lease sale “threatens the core of our tourism economy by locking in long-term oil and gas leases on and around popular recreation areas that are vital to our local economy.”