For the first three months of the 1991 water year, precipitation has not been consistent with the historic pattern, according to local weather experts.

They report that water from October, November and December snowstorms has been above average in the valleys but below average on the watersheds in the central Utah area.Cooperative weather observer Lee J. Anderson has measured 3.97 inches of water at the Manti weather station for the three-month period. That's 123 percent of normal.

And at Sorensen Field, a Forest Service site a mile southeast of Ephraim, Gary Jorgenson has measured 3.33 inches. Normal for Soren-sen Field at this time is 2.83 inches.

Major's Flat, several miles up Ephraim Canyon, has received 5.00 inches of water, which is normal. But at even higher elevations on critical watersheds, with one exception, the water content is below normal, according to Ralph Mickelsen, a Soil Conservation Service technician at Manti.

Electronic measuring devices report 4.2 inches of water in the snow cover at the Cottonwood-Mammoth site east of Fairview, or 57 percent of normal; 3.1 inches of water, 50 percent of normal, at the Seeley Creek Ranger Station east of Ephraim; 3.7 inches of water, 53 percent of normal, at Buck Flat, above Manti, and at Pickle Keg Springs in Salina Canyon, 4.8 inches of water, 68 percent of normal.

But he added a hopeful note: February, March, April and May, the wettest months of the year in the central Utah area, are still ahead and capable of overcoming the current shortfall.