From The Deseret News (Amy Joi O’Donoghue):
The southern half of the state, as of Monday, was sitting in the 60% of normal accumulation of snowpack, and the Lower Sevier River Basin at 36% of normal is experiencing abysmally dry conditions.
In fact the U.S. Drought Monitor, in data updated last week, shows a large swath of central Utah in the exceptional drought category and the majority of Utah in extreme drought.
Those conditions persist throughout states in the Southwest, including Arizona, New Mexico and portions of western Colorado. Utah’s neighbor, Nevada, is also experiencing extreme drought as moisture-giving storms avoid most of the region.
Much of the West, in fact, is in some sort of drought with the exceptions of the coastal areas of Southern California, northern Washington, portions of Idaho and extreme northern areas of Montana.
Earlier this year, a grim study released by Columbia University said the entire West is likely headed into a climate-driven “mega drought” based on data from tree rings. The study area stretched across nine U.S. states from Oregon and Montana down through California and New Mexico, and part of northern Mexico. If the study’s predictions prove true, it would be the worst drought in the region in 1,200 years.
Utah’s only “average” areas for accumulation this year so far are the Weber-Ogden River Basin at 102% and the Bear River Basin sitting at 111%.
Elsewhere along the Wasatch Front, the Provo-Utah-Jordan River Basin is struggling at 87% of normal, but again it is early in the accumulation season.