Four south-central Utah counties are now in the fifth year of a continuing drought.
A Soil Conservation Service snow survey crew has just returned from a helicopter flight onto several high mountain watersheds in the four-county area with the evidence that supports that conclusion.The water content in the snowpack in most areas is slightly better than at this time last year, but still around 75 percent of average.
Here's the county-by-county situation:
Emery - The snow depth at the Seely Creek Ranger Station is 36 inches and water content is 10.6 inches. That's 65 percent of average. Juab - The 38 inches of snow at Reese's Flat east of Levan contains 10.6 inches of water, 77 percent of average.
Sanpete - Data were gathered on four critical watersheds.
The Mammoth Ranger Station in Fairview Canyon has 63 inches of snow, containing 18.1 inches of water, 80 percent; and the Huntington-Horseshoe course, 62 inches of snow, with 18.1 inches of water, 72 percent.
The Headquarters course in Ephraim Canyon has 53 inches of snow with 14.2 inches of water, 76 percent; and the Meadows course, higher in the canyon, 18.9 inches of water in 66 inches of snow, also 76 percent.
At Thistle Flat east of Manti, the snow is 48 inches deep and contains 12.2 inches of water, 69 percent of average and less than for the past four years at this time.
The Mt. Baldy Ranger Station, high in Twelve Mile Canyon east of Mayfield, has 70 inches of snow, with 19.4 inches of water, 78 percent; and the Beaver Dam course, lower in the watershed, 33 inches of snow, with 9.1 inches of water, 75 percent.
Sevier - The survey crew gathered data at three locations in the Salina Canyon drainage, and at all three the situation, though still below normal, is the best for the four-county region.
At Pickle Keg Springs, there are 51 inches of snow with 14.5 inches of water, 84 percent; at the Gooseberry Ranger Station, 41 inches of snow with 11.5 inches of water, 90 percent; and at Farnsworth Lake, 63 inches of snow with 18.4 inches of water, 89 percent.