WASHINGTON — A newly-released report issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts drought conditions throughout Utah and the West will continue, and may even worsen this spring.
The U.S. Spring Outlook from NOAAs Climate Prediction Center forecasts below-average precipitation in the West, along with above-average temperatures, meaning it could be a sweltering season for most of the U.S.
A map showing drought tendencies places nearly half the country in the "continue or worsen" category.
“Severe to exceptional drought has persisted in some areas of the West since the summer of 2020 and drought has expanded to the southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley,” said Jon Gottschalck, chief, Operational Prediction Branch, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “With nearly 60% of the continental U.S. experiencing minor to exceptional drought conditions, this is the largest drought coverage we’ve seen in the U.S. since 2013.”
The majority of Utah is currently experiencing extreme drought conditions, while areas in the northwest and southeast part of the state were listed under the exceptional category.
Despite recent snowstorms in northern Utah, the state's snowpack is still below its median and won't be enough to overcome drought conditions.