OGDEN -- You should not worry when the National Weather Service says there's 200 percent of normal snowpack on the mountains of the Weber River drainage.
Don't freak out because a storm could dump yet another foot of snow in the mountains this weekend.
Do not panic because we are seeing worse conditions than the ones that gave us 1983. That was the year whole towns had to turn out to build sandbag dikes, a subdivision in Farmington was buried to the eaves in mud and streets in Salt Lake City turned into rivers.
Slowly, calmly, stock up on sandbags, check the sump pump and make sure your flood and water damage policies are paid up.
If your basement is prone to water, this would be a good time to roll up the carpet and move stuff to the garage.
You should especially do these things if you live anywhere near a river, creek, flood plain or other body of water that flows during runoffs.
Unless an increasingly unlikely set of ideal weather conditions hits Utah, this year's flood situation is going to be ugly.
And the longer it takes to get ugly, the uglier it is going to be.
Top of Utah has already had some flooding, but that was not from the snowpack.
Tage Flint, executive director of the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, said almost all of that flooding was from more than 2 inches of rain that fell.
The rain melted a little snow, he said, but not much. "It did take some snow down with it, but it was unrelated to the normal runoff cycle, which we haven't started yet."
Of course, this year's runoff could still go well, but the odds are shrinking.
National Weather Service hydrologist Brian McInerney is watching the snowpacks and river flows with increasing unease.
"I'm hearing sump pump stories from all over the Top of Utah," he said Wednesday.
Water tables are high. Fields are flooded. Rivers are running deep as water managers try to make room for the spring runoff. Meanwhile, the huge piles of snow on the mountains refuse to shrink.
How much water is there in the snowpack? Almost double the average.
"I was talking to some hydrologists from the Bureau of Reclamation about Echo Reservoir, and they said you'd basically have to drain the whole thing and the forecasted inflow would still fill it all up," McInerney said.
Flint said that's true everywhere. He figures there is enough water in the snow above Pineview Reservoir to fill it twice, and Pineview is still 66 percent full.
Which is why, he said Wednesday, he is releasing water from Pineview as rapidly as he can, hoping to keep it from spilling over later on.
"Almost every one of our reservoirs could fill from empty on up with what's stored above," Flint said.
What's frustrating is that, every time water is let out of the reservoirs, it rains and fills them up again, he said.
Getting the reservoirs down is critical, Flint said. If they fill too quickly and spill over, the ability to control river levels, and flooding, is lost.
McInerney said everything seems to be conspiring to make the runoff massive.
First, the soil in the mountains is "saturated, absolutely soaked," because of heavy rains last fall. That means, when the snow melts, none will soak in.
Second, there are huge piles of snow on those mountains.
In recent years, heavy snows didn't start until December and usually let up after February. This year, they started in October and have yet to slow.
"Since March 1, we've had a major storm every week for two months," McInerney said.
Normally the snow starts to melt in mid-April, but this year it has been too cold.
So here we are, almost May, with double the average of snow.
And what happened in 1983?
That year, McInerney said, there was not as much snow as now -- 133 percent of normal in the Weber drainage -- but the thaw was six weeks late.
When the thaw hit June 5, all that snow came down at once. Creeks from Willard to Salt Lake City turned into raging rivers.
Projected river flows this year are way above flood stage in several parts of Top of Utah.
In the Weber River drainage, the worst area is near Oakley, where average flows are projected to be 3,400 cubic feet per second in a river where flood stage is 1,950 cubic feet per second.
Ideally, McInerney said, "what you want to do is have a really hot April and have an absence of precipitation, and we've had lower-than-normal temperatures and higher-than-normal precipitation."
This weekend will not help. A small storm will hit Friday and this weekend, with temperatures 18 degrees below normal and a foot of snow in the mountains.
"We're adding to it when we should be taking it off," McInerney said.
The weather needs to turn warm very soon so the snow starts melting.
"If we go into mid-May and it's still up there like it is," McInerney said, "we've got some pretty significant issues."