SALT LAKE CITY — Recent storms that have brought rain to most of the state could be doing wonders for Utah's drought conditions. Could being the important word as residents hope for loosened water restrictions.
The National Weather Service reports that 3.48 inches of rain has fallen at Salt Lake City International Airport in the 26 days since Oct. 1, the start of the state's water year.
In comparison, during the 2020-21 water year, it took until Feb. 17 to reach the same level, a whopping 140 days on the calendar. Put another way, this year's level was reached in only 18 percent of the time it took to achieve the same amount a year ago.
Salt Lake City Airport has reported 3.48" of rain so far this year.— NWS Salt Lake City (@NWSSaltLakeCity) October 27, 2021
Looking at last year, it took from October 1, 2020 to February 17, 2021 to measure 3.48" of rain!
2021: 26 days to 3.48"
2020: 140 days to 3.48"#utwx pic.twitter.com/wBOush02FH
NWS officials said the normal precipitation amount at the airport during the same time frame is 1.05 inches.
The early accumulation of precipitation, which is the combined measurements of rain and snow water, could be seen as a good omen for Utah's ongoing drought.
More early moisture in the soil will be a boost in the spring and summer when snowmelt runs into rivers and streams.
“When snow melts, the first place it’s going to go is down into the ground,” Laura Haskell, the drought coordinator for the Utah Division of Water Resources, said earlier this month. “If there is already water in the ground, more of it will run off and go where we want it to go.”