The Great Salt Lake's terrifying flood threat of a few years ago has evaporated.

The lake has made a "phenomenal" drop in the past two weeks, says William J. Alder, meteorologist in charge of the Salt Lake office of the National Weather Service, and it's expected to continue dropping.U.S. Geological Survey hydrologists measured the lake's surface at 4207.6 feet above sea level Monday - nearly 51/2 inches lower than it was only a fortnight ago.

So far this year, the lake is down 2 feet, and it's expected to plummet another foot before it begins its annual rising cycle.

"That's a phenomenal drop, of course, but it's not surprising due to how hot and dry the summer has been," said Alder. "The inflow is hardly anything" because Utah had little rainfall recently.

Earlier, scientists were predicting the lake's drop would end at about 4207. But because of the new reading, that's been taken down to 4206.5.

The lake's highest level ever recorded was 4211.85, which it reached in two succeeding flood stages, those of 1986 and early 1987. Since then, it's gone down nearly 4 feet.