Memorial Day weekend storm delivers much-needed rain, snow. Here's how much Utah got



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Bailey Holland and her siblings figured they'd spend Memorial Day weekend at a water park.

However, a storm system that pushed through Utah over the long weekend resulted in a change of plans. They traded a day at the water park with one last sledding trip in the Cottonwood Canyons.

"It's actually really fun," she told KSL-TV.

The Memorial Day weekend storm ultimately lived up to the hype, producing at least 16 inches of new snow near Alta (equating to over 2 inches of water), according to the National Weather Service. It even produced over 4 inches of precipitation in other parts of the Wasatch Mountains since Saturday — all of which matters as Utah heads into its historically driest season.

"It was phenomenal, and you could not ask for a better way to end the month of May," said KSL meteorologist Kevin Eubank.

Snowbasin Resort in Huntsville led all Utah locations, receiving at least 4.66 inches of precipitation over the past few days. Liberty, also in Weber County, received 3.55 inches. Within Wasatch Front communities, Farmington received a little over 2.5 inches, while North Salt Lake also received over 2 inches of rain.

Most of the snow ended up in the Cottonwood Canyons, where Silver Lake received close to 10 inches along with Alta's 16 inches. Even Park City received close to an inch of snow over the weekend.

The snow didn't just bring out sledders but also skiers like Brad Marshall, who joked his group was already "out of ski shape" but eager to get at least one more run in before the summer.

"The snow was great. Good skiing up top," he said. "We saw that there were some rocks and stumps buried, so we avoided those bumps in the snow. But, otherwise, it was great. No issues. It felt pretty bottomless for Memorial Day weekend."

As for the drought, Utah entered May on pace for its third-driest year on record. Those dry conditions are why about 72% of the state is listed in extreme drought status.

The weekend storm won't erase all the state's precipitation deficits, but it does help with the dry conditions.

Eubank points out that some parts will of the region will now end up with May and spring totals closer to average. Salt Lake City entered the weekend 2.41 inches of precipitation below its 30-year springtime averages before it received at least 0.86 inches to narrow the deficit to 1.55 inches.

The rain isn't over yet, either. Eubank said the low-pressure system over Utah is acting weird, as it will "curl around" the state a bit, allowing for more isolated showers on Tuesday. They won't produce as much rain as over the weekend but will keep most of the state cool and rainy before the storm clears out.

The sunshine will return Wednesday as a high-pressure system rolls in to begin meteorological summer. High temperatures will return to the 80s and 90s across Utah, as well.

Full seven-day forecasts for areas across Utah can be found online at the KSL Weather Center.

Contributing: Jed Boal, KSL-TV

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Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter who covers general news, outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com. He previously worked for the Deseret News. He is a Utah transplant by the way of Rochester, New York.

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