Water Year Ends on a Promising Note

Water Year Ends on a Promising Note

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Jed Boal ReportingFor the first time in six years there's good news as the water year comes to an end. During the extended drought there was little to celebrate, but today the outlook is more optimistic as October nears.

Here in Utah the water year starts October 1st to coincide with the cycle of the snow season. This year was a big improvement. Phenomenal snowfall, record-breaking snowpack let us all know this was a different year water-wise.

When all of that snow started to melt and flow from the mountains floodwaters swept into many communities across the state and all of that water seemed like too much of a good thing. A wet spring sent us into the summer in better shape than years.

Brian McInerney, National Weather Service Hydrologist: "Things are looking up for us hydrologically."

July and September reminded us we still live in the second driest state in the nation, but we didn't have the baking heat of recent years.

Brian McInerney: "This has been a really good year, when we're going into the next water year with full reservoirs except the very large ones. We've got very good soil moisture."

That's important for run-off next spring. If the soil is saturated, snowmelt runs off rather than soaking in.

Brian McInerney: "If we look at the precipitation levels and the run-off we had last spring, we should be doing pretty good."

As for the water year ahead, long-range models suggest the winter could be warmer and drier than normal.

Brian McInerney: "Weather goes in cycles, so maybe we could see this as a wet cycle. But I think if you look at it meteorologically, there's no indicator to say we're in for a wet year this year."

What we really need is a few more years just like this one.

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