Snowpack in southeastern Utah at the end of April was a whopping 648% of normal this year, according to the May 1 report by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Regular storms helped to maintain that snowpack throughout the winter and spring, and in April the precipitation average was 124%, which brought the seasonal accumulation in the October-to-April water year to 155% of average.
Many visitors’ favorite places on the Manti-La Sal National Forest will not be accessible this Memorial Day due to heavy snows and late thaw, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
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.
Western states have inked a drought-management deal for the Colorado River.
Drought levels in Colorado dropped by half in a week, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor which reports that there are no more extreme or exceptional drought conditions in the state. Just three months ago, nearly 30 percent of Colorado was listed under that status. The governor of the state has called the snowpack “epic,” according to a story in the Colorado Sun.
The nonstop rain that fell on southeastern Utah earlier this week might have made life miserable for some folks – a flood advisory was issued for the Mill Creek area on Wednesday, March 13, someone was injured by falling rocks at Fisher Towers, and hikers were turned back from trails – but at least it wasn’t the so-called “bomb cyclone” that struck more than 70 million people from the Rockies to South Dakota.