Water Outlook for 2011: Well Above Average

Water year 2011 has started off the right way, according to Randy Julander, Snow Survey supervisor for the state of Utah. In the Utah Water Users’ Association newsletter of January 2011, he reported that many sites across the state were reporting above 200% of the average snowpack for the time of year.

Since then, snowpacks have remained well above average. You can find up-to-date information on snowpacks throughout the state by typing “SNOTEL Utah” in any search engine. In addition to large snowpacks, most areas of the state have above average soil moisture saturation levels.

What does this mean for our state? We hope that it means good water supplies for the coming growing season. But it all depends on the spring weather.

If temperatures rise quickly and stay high, the spring runoff will be very high and could cause flooding. If the runoff happens too quickly, it could actually mean water shortages later in the summer and fall.

We’ll keep an eye on the water supply, and provide more information as needed.