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Utah's Snow Pack Low, Snowfall In February, March Could Help

Drought is an ongoing problem in Utah and during winters like the one we’ve been having, with little to no snow across the state, there are concerns about Utah’s snow pack. 

“I do wish there was more snow,” said Julia Stowell, a Utah State University student. 


Taylor Rowser, also a USU student, has the opposite feeling. 


“I generally am happy when there's less snow where I am,” Rowser said. “But I also realize that it's necessary in the mountains.”


Stowell shared this concern about low snowpack. 


“Having less snow is definitely gonna make for a rough summer,” she said. 


According to Jon Meyer, a climatologist at the Utah Climate Center, when it comes to snow “we're significantly behind where we normally are for this time of year.”


“The best case places in the state are at 60% to 70% of normal, worst case places are at 20% to 30% of normal,” Meyer said. 


“If we get 10 inches or 12 inches in the mountains, that's really been the best case storm this year. And the winter that we do have left is the kind of season where we get the wettest type of snow storms. Our February/March snow (storms), they tend to deliver more water per event. And so we aren't sunk yet, we still have time to make up ground. But we are in a huge deficit. And so we've got a lot of basically water debts to pay off in the next couple of months.”


So what should we do now?


“There could be more legislation and local ordinances I think to help promote responsible water usage,” Stowell said.


“We look at it and it's like, oh, well, we can't really make a difference. But if we all work together, we really can,” Rowser said. 


“What we don't realize,” Meyer said, “is that even during wet years conservation is important because those are years where we really need to be putting as much water into our reservoir systems as possible.”