Flooding reaches some #Utah cities, but #water managers welcome huge #snowpack: Managing what water goes where will be key going forward — The Deseret News #runoff (April 21, 2023)

Click the link to read the article on The Deseret News website (Amy Joi O’Donoghue). Here’s an excerpt:

March, which is typically Utah’s best month for precipitation, outdid itself this year. By the time it was over, precipitation was 250% of normal, more than twice what the month generally delivers.

“I don’t know what we did to deserve March, but it was something. I don’t know what to say about March. I know our forecast staff was extremely tired. It was just phenomenal,” said Glen Merrill, senior hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City, adding not only was the wet weather outstanding, but the cool temperatures as well…

The warmer temperatures last week kick-started the melt from lower and mid-elevations of a snowpack that exceeded that of the early ’80s and even, cautiously speaking, the big snow year of 1952, although at that time measurements were not taken as often and measure sites were not as plentiful…That snow coming off the mountains means extraordinarily high stream runoff forecasts in some areas and flooding that is already happening at Emigration Creek, resulting in the closure of some recreational trails near waterways and wary eyes cast on the Weber and Ogden rivers…

All that water needs to go somewhere and reservoirs are already in an operational mode of controlled releases to make room for the coming melt. The precipitation has also delivered enough water to lift the ailing Great Salt Lake by 3.5 feet and forecasters predict Lake Powell will receive 11 million acre-feet of water due to inflows. Neither of those amounts are enough to get the Great Salt Lake or Lake Powell Reservoir out of trouble, but it will help. And as the berm dividing the north arm of the Great Salt Lake from the south arm is expected to be eclipsed by the precipitation, water experts said some of that additional water will make it into the north arm — a good thing.

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