April forecasts for northern Utah continue to indicate stream flows will be below average this summer some lower than during the 1976-77 dry spell that was Utah's worst since the 1930s.
Gerald Williams, National Weather Service hydrologist, told state water officials Friday that stream flow forecasts are at 50 percent of average or less on the Weber, Bear and Ogden rivers. Drainages into Utah Lake are about the same, and the streams in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons are also well below average. Several reservoirs, including Pineview and Deer Creek, may not fill this spring as a result.Soil Conservation Service forecasts are similar, based on current stream flows and mountain snowpack measurements, said Jon Werner, data collection supervisor. All of the snowpack measurements from the April report are lower than in March.
Werner said data collected by his agency shows the streams in Parleys and the two Cottonwood canyons will likely be 44 to 54 percent of average between April and July, but they could be as low as 29 to 41 percent of average.
South-central, southeast and southern Utah continue to have the highest snowpack measurements, ranging 62 to 74 percent of average. Stream flows on the Virgin River are 110 percent of average, and the Sevier River forecast is 77 percent of average.
Werner said that despite talk about drought and water shortages, the situation is not as serious as 1977.