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Utah's drought status drops dramatically over month, year

Posted at 1:09 PM, Feb 09, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — While most of Utah is still under the effects of the current drought, conditions have improved dramatically over the past month thanks to the nonstop snow that seems to be falling across the state.

In Thursday's release of the Utah Drought Monitor map, only a small area of the central portion of the state, just 3.89 percent, is currently under Extreme Drought conditions. When compared to last June when over 83% of Utah was under those same conditions, and nearly 100% in July 2021, it's easy to see the effect the current winter weather season has had.

For the fourth week in a row, no part of the state is under Exceptional Drought status.

"The extent of severe or worse drought in Utah dropped to 53.4%, a 20 percentage-point improvement in the last week and a 30-point improvement over the last month," the Drought Center wrote.

The 2022-23 winter weather season has been one for Utah's history books, with the state's snow water equivalent at 171% of normal as of Feb. 1. With weeks to go until Utah hits its normal snowpack peak in April, conditions have already surpassed what a normal snowpack would look like in an average year, according to a United States Department of Agriculture report.

Overall, the report exclaimed that it's been the best winter the state has seen in more than 25 years.