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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has asked religious leaders across the state to help him pray for rain this month.
In a Feb. 22 letter addressed to religious leaders, Herbert said he did the same thing in 2012 during an unusually hot and dry summer.
“Because the health of our waterways, our wetlands, our agriculture, and our forests in particular depend on an abundant snowpack and because none of us can afford to witness the destruction that comes with wildfire,” Herbert wrote, “I am again reaching out to you and your faith communities with an invitation to unite in prayer.”
He asked leaders to pray for rain during the first week of March.
Even with recent snow storms, Utah’s snowpack remains below average for this year. Across the entire western U.S., snowpacks have decreased dramatically throughout the last 60 years, according to a study released Friday.
“Although we have just received some fresh snow, this year’s uncharacteristically warm and dry weather pattern has left the state with about half the snowpack that we might experience in a regular year,” Herbert said in the letter.
Much of Utah is under a winter storm warning this weekend, but as of Saturday afternoon there was no snowfall in downtown Salt Lake City.
In the letter, Herbert said the rains came within days of his similar request in 2012.
Herbert also expressed gratitude for the state’s religious leaders.
“Thank you for considering this special request, and thank you for all you do to meet the significant spiritual needs of the people of our great state,” he wrote in the letter.