SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Storm after storm dumped plenty of snow in parts of Utah this winter, but statewide snowpack is down. It’s about 85 percent what it should be, according to the Division of Water Resources.
The northern mountains are especially drier than normal at 70 percent which is where a lot of the water in the reservoirs comes from. “The snow pack storage in the mountains is just like another reservoir, it stores it there releases it as it gets warmer and flows into our streams,” said Todd Adams, Division of Water Resources.
The low snowpack in the mountains is impacting the reservoirs. Water storage in the state's 46 key reservoirs is at 69 percent of capacity compared to 87 percent last year.
ABC 4 Chief Meteorologist Jim Kosek blames an unusual winter. “I call it crazy,” he said. Kosek said snow that typically falls in the mountains filling the reservoirs instead blanketed the valley. And this year's strange winter storm season comes after a very dry year last year.
“It's not quite as harsh as it was last year,” said Kosek. “We were able to get 330 inches over the northern mountains so far this year as a season as a whole compared to last year when we didn't even hit the 300 mark and that was only the 5th time in recorded history that that happened.”
The Division of Water Resources continues to monitor the levels. But as the winter draws to a close time is of the essence in the wait for snow.
"We're still hoping for some accumulation whether it will be enough to get us out of where we're at I don't know,” said Adams.
Forecasters say there are still four to six weeks left for snow accumulation in higher elevations.