Streamflows and snowpack measurements are well below average in all parts of the state after the third driest April on record aided the "great snow robbery," said Jon Werner, data collection supervisor for the Soil Conservation Service.
Warm weather came early this spring, boosting streamflows and prompting managers of Deer Creek Reservoir to declare the lake would fill. But Deer Creek and other reservoirs may not fill if dry conditions continue to place increased demands on reservoir storage for water, he said.Snowpack measurements taken April 1 showed the Weber Basin at about 90 percent of average and the Provo River drainage at 82 percent of average. One month later, the Weber had dropped to 51 percent and the Provo to 4 percent of average.
Similar drops in the Uintah basin took the snowpack average there from 81 percent of average on April 1 to 26 percent. The snowpack in southeastern Utah is now 14 percent of average and the southwest corner of the state has dried up completely.
The statewide average dropped from 80 percent in April to 35 percent.
"It's only May 5," Werner told the Board of Water Resources Friday, "But it looks gloomy. We need a lot of help yet."
Above average precipitation through the rest of May is needed to help reverse the trend. Without more rain, seasonal surges in streamflows will peak and either dry up or return to their base flows one month earlier than average. Many streams have peaked already, Werner said.