Storms at the end of November beefed up the snowpack in the Utah’s mountains, but experts say it’s too soon to tell what 2019’s water supply will look like.
The National Resource Conservation Service reports that the state’s seasonal precipitation accumulation is 135 percent above average, according to December’s Utah Climate and Water Report.
Several water basins are off to a “particularly good start” to the year and the snowpack is also above average, the report said.
Precipitation in November in the Weber and Ogden Basin was above average at 121 percent, while the Bear River Basin saw near average levels at 108 percent.
“The recent storms increased Utah’s snow water equivalent by several inches in some areas. However, it’s still very early in the snow accumulation season and way too soon to know whether this winter will provide boom, bust, or average snow totals,” the report said.
The NRCS reports that the state’s soil moisture conditions are “near normal and generally better than last year, which would have been unthinkable just three months ago.”
Reservoir storage at Weber and Ogden River Basin is at 47 percent of capacity, compared to 71 percent last year. Meanwhile, the Bear River storage is at 60 percent of capacity, compared to 81 percent capacity last year.
Statewide, reservoir storage levels are at 55 percent compared to 71 percent last year.
“Water managers have reason to be hopeful about this winter’s snowpack, but it will take above-average precipitation totals to start to replenish water storage levels,” the NCRS said.