Snow Storms a Small Dent in Drought Situation

Snow Storms a Small Dent in Drought Situation

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Kimberly Houk ReportingThere was more snow again today and weather patterns show that it will continue on-again, off-again through next Tuesday. So what kind of impact will the continual moisture have on Utah's drought conditions?

It seems like a lot of snow, and it is, but drought specialists put it in perspective. They say we will have to have at least one storm a week just like the one this week for the next six months in order to produce enough snow pack to pull out of another year of drought.

Randy Julander, Snow Survey Supervisor: “People think we've got a lot of storminess. We've been dry for so long. Snow pack in the mountains should have started a month and a half ago."

But the recent storms have put the snow pack right on track for this time of year. Now snow surveyors are hoping the next couple of months stay wet.

Randy Julander: “It's just what we need. Every flake is welcome. Every flake counts."

However, we're in for another low flake year if we can believe the predictions of a famous local tortoise and her eating habits.

Tosh, Tortoise Owner: “This winter's going to be really crazy winter. It's going to be up and down, but overall, it's going to be milder and drier than the normal conditions."

Tosh Kano has been predicting Utah's winters for the last 14 years. He does it by studying how his tortoise eats coming out of hibernation. If she eats a lot then he knows she storing up fat tissue to survive a cold winter. But this year she did something different.

Tosh: “She stopped in the middle of august and I have never, never observed that behavior."

Because she stopped eating in August Tosh says this winter will be mild. But then the tortoise started eating again in mid-September, leading Tosh to believe Utah is in for a winter of many ups and downs. And given the snows of last Halloween -- so far, so good.

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