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Quack, quack! 5 counties extra wet in May

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Utah's northernmost residents might want to check whether their feet are turning into duck paddles: May was two or three times more soggy than normal. But for most of the rest of the state, precipitation wasn't quite as heavy as usual.

"Box Elder, Weber, Cache, northern Davis and Rich counties took all the water honors," said William J. Alder, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service's Salt Lake regional forecast center.His summary of weather conditions during May is posted on the Internet at the site (http://nimbo.wrh.noaa.gov/Saltlake/ SLCCLMSLC.html).

"Ogden and Grouse Creek (Box Elder County) had the second-wettest May on record," he said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, snow remains on mountaintops, particularly above 9,000 to 10,000 feet. In some areas, snow lingers at the 8,500-foot elevation.

However, Alder doesn't expect flooding to result from the continuing spring runoff. "So far this year, the snowmelt has been orderly, and it should continue that way," he said.

Highlights of the monthly summary:

- Three tornadoes were reported, at West Valley City May 8, Roy and West Point May 21.

- A waterspout twirled above Bear Lake May 26.

- A cloudburst hit Ogden May 8, "with extensive flooding along Pingree Avenue."

- The 1997-98 snowfall season ended with a total of 65.2 inches, which was 0.7 inch above average.