Northern Utah Snowpack is Above Average

Northern Utah Snowpack is Above Average

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Thanks to recent snowstorms, northern Utah's snowpacks are above average.

Southern Utah's remain below average, but it's still early in the water year, which began Oct. 1.

"A month ago things looked pretty grim," National Weather Service hydrologist Brian McInerney said Monday of the northern Utah basins. "But in late November we had a week's worth of storm cycles move through. We essentially went from below average to above average in about three weeks time.

"It's not as good as a year ago at this time, but certainly better than the dry period between 2000 and 2004," he said.

The Bear River basin is at 122 percent of normal, the Weber is 110 percent, the Provo is 103 and Six Creeks, the drainage that takes in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons in Salt Lake County, is at 114 percent.

Randy Julander, snow survey supervisor for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said the regions that received the least amount of snow last year are making up for it this year.

"We're tickled that the Bear River system has jumped off to a good start and given us some breathing room," he said.

Elsewhere in Utah, the Virgin River drainage is just 65 percent of normal and the Sevier is at 69 percent.

"It's still really, really early in the snow accumulation year, and any outcome is possible," said Julander. "Having said that, it's always better to be above average."

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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