OGDEN -- As water years go, the current year, which started Oct. 1, has been ho-hum average, nothing to write home about.
U.S. Weather Service Hydrologist Brian McInerney couldn't be happier.
After all, if you take the two previous years, add them up and divide by two, they make "average" as well, but they were a roller-coaster ride he'd rather not repeat. The wettest year on record followed by the driest makes for great reading, but tough water management.
Normal? That's easy.
"We're at 94 percent of normal for the Weber drainage basin," he said Thursday. "A year ago, we were 52 percent, and two years ago, we were at 179 percent of normal. So you can see we're in between, which is what I was hoping for."
The water year didn't start out this way. In November, he said, Top of Utah only had three days of stormy weather in a month it needs much more to soak the soil and prepare for winter.
"So the question is, are we going to do December like we did November? But we've had three storm systems and two more on the way."
He described the storms as "pretty disorganized" but more frequent, and that's what mattered.
What made people think the winter was drier was the warmth, he said. The first several storms only put snow down to 7,000 feet, leaving the foothills brown.
That helped soak the soil, he said, which should help with the spring runoff, "and now with the recent bunch of storms we're up about average."
The trick now, he said, is for the weather to stay unsettled.
Several snowstorms are predicted over the weekend, but computer models Thursday were divided over whether they'd hit the state directly or go around it.
There is the probability of a high pressure ridge over the state in January, which happens almost every year, "but hopefully it's transitory."
Whichever, McInerney said his big hope is that the year ends up average because that's what will fill the state's reservoirs, depleted after last year's dry winter.
"We should have most reservoirs full if we have an average year. After record high and record low, hopefully 2013 will be just average."