The map paints a grim picture, showing that a little less than 8% of Utah is in exceptional drought.
That is a bad place to be.
A new report released by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, notes the irony embedded in recent weather.
- The St. George region received zero rain in June and jumped to a whopping 400% of normal rainfall for July.
- Statewide, precipitation across Utah for July was 104% of normal.
- Yet, Yuba Reservoir in Juab County is holding only 15,000 acre-feet of water, 6% of capacity.
“Utah’s precipitation patterns have been fascinating this year, with marked regional variations across the state,” the report said, noting outstanding snowstorms in December and then the dreary dry months of January and February.
Despite the rain, soil saturation levels are lagging, according to the federal agency. That could bring bad news for the upcoming water year as managers struggle with what was a virtually nonexistent runoff and to keep drinking water supplies intact.
The statewide soil saturation value is 36% at monitoring sites measured across the state, down 7% from last year at this time.
Still, flash flooding threats remain a concern for the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City, which is warning that Wednesday storms could impact popular destinations like Zion and Capitol Reef national parks.
Here's your Wednesday forecast. Best chance for thunderstorms will be across western and southern Utah. Be weather aware as isolated flash flooding is possible, especially in prone areas like @CapitolReefNPS and @ZionNPS. #utwx pic.twitter.com/SsksaMIAOx— NWS Salt Lake City (@NWSSaltLakeCity) August 3, 2022
Beyond rain, a heat dome has impacted Utah residents this summer. The National Weather Service reported that this year Salt Lake City broke the record for the hottest July for the second consecutive year.
The forecast, almost predictably, calls for more rain, and more heat over the next several days.