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Spring snowstorm good for snowpack, bad for many Utahns’ gardens

Posted at 9:13 PM, Apr 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-12 23:13:32-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A yo-yo of spring weather left some surprised to see snow on their freshly-planted spring gardens Thursday.

The storm brought relief after a drier-than-average-winter, and the National Weather Service said we need the moisture.

"We'll take whatever you can get when you have a low year like this," NWS Hydrologist Brian McInerney said.

After the flakes fell overnight and early morning, Millcreek Gardens said the calls poured in with customers wondering how to protect their plants.

Owner LaRene Bautner said many perennials can handle the cold, but for other more delicate annuals, they suggest buying frost cloth and covering the plants.

She, too, knows we need these storms to help with ground moisture later in the season.

"We have had some really nice storms, and the earth is loving that," she said.

Northern Utah reservoirs are looking to be about 80 to 85 percent of normal, McInerney said. However, southern Utah is worse off.

He said they're looking at a record low forecast for spring runoff in some areas, including the Virgin River and in Washington County. Snowpack is 20 percent of where it should be in that part of the state, he said.

The post-winter wet weather only goes so far, he indicated.

"Our snowpacks typically start getting smaller, they start melting off, they start going away," he said. "So for us to try and make up ground on what we have here, it's too little too late."

Luckily, he said the banner year last winter brought us will carry over into this year.

McInerney said they'll also be hoping for a sizable monsoon flow this summer to help bring more moisture.