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Precipitation in Utah was more than 200% above normal in August

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Posted at 8:44 AM, Sep 14, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — An especially wet August helped Utah rebound some water lost during the hot summer months but experts are still hoping for a heavy winter, with plenty of snow to keep positive trends going.

In the latest report from the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, they report valley locations in Utah received 1.9 inches of rain in August.

That total is impressive, specifically, it's 213% above what precipitation Utah's valleys usually get as the final month of summer has brought very dry and hot conditions to the state in the past.

In particular, western Utah saw even more impressive numbers, with 319% of normal precipitation received in August, experts report.

Looking at the year as a whole, valley locations are still faring well, with water levels at 136% of the median.

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Water year-to-date precipitation

Heading into the mountains, the positive water outlook continues, with mountain sites receiving 3.2 inches of rainfall in August, which is 215% of normal precipitation.

With the solid rain totals, it's no surprise that soil moisture in both valleys and mountains is in a good place, at around 43 and 44 percent, respectively.

After a record-breaking winter that Utahns are still talking about, experts say it's time to recognize a superb summer that also provided "significant moisture" across the state.

As the weather conditions have been favorable, Utah's reservoirs are also continuing to recover from years of intense and dangerous drought.

The newest report reveals Utah's reservoir storage as of September 1 is at 77% capacity, which is 31% higher when compared to this time last year.

Despite the green lights, experts are still holding out, hoping for another massive winter that could bring much-needed relief to Utah's larger water bodies, Bear Lake, The Great Salt Lake and Lake Powell.

"We express herein our ongoing concerns about water levels in our largest water bodies," experts stated in the report, "where it will take (at least) an additional above-normal snowpack season this winter to see lake levels increase enough to approach ‘normal’ conditions."