Greatest snow on Earth: Utah’s snowpack hits record high

Mar 24, 2023, 3:42 PM | Updated: 3:52 pm

(Chopper 5/KSL TV)...

(Chopper 5/KSL TV)

(Chopper 5/KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — Things are about as good as it can get for the Greatest Snow on Earth: Utah has set a record for its statewide snowpack, passing the previous mark set 40 years ago.

Data from the Natural Resources Conservation Service showed Utah’s statewide snowpack hit 26.1″ of snow water equivalent on Friday — besting 1983’s record of 26 inches.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Matthew Johnson (@ksl_matt)

KSL.com reported Utah’s forecast calls for cooler and wetter conditions for the rest of the week. The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center projections indicate a higher probability for more storm action to close out the month, as well, so the record is likely to go even higher.

As more snow moves into the state, two Utah ski resorts celebrated a huge milestone they haven’t seen in years: hitting 700 inches of snowfall in a season.

A new banner unveiled downtown Wednesday stretches 58 feet from the ground. On the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City hotel connected to the Salt Palace Convention Center on West Temple, the banner reaches the hotel’s fourth story and gives a good idea of what 700 inches means.

With the record snowpack, several Utah resorts announced they will be extending their seasons. Memorial Day weekend skiing is a possibility, and no resorts have ruled out 4th of July snow events.

However, how much more snow Utah gets or how quickly it warms up can impact those plans — as well as any spring flooding.

Residents and emergency preparedness managers in northern and southern Utah are preparing for potential flooding with sandbags, clearing debris and watching river and creek levels as that snowpack makes its way to the state’s reservoirs and lakes.

“There’s the potential for dozens of these kinds of snags to be along the various creeks across the county,” said Salt Lake County Emergency Management director Clint Mecham. “That’s why engineering and flood control are as aggressively as possible trying to get out and get these things cleared out.”

Drought impact

What kind of dent does this make in the drought?

Jordan Clayton, snow survey supervisor for Utah, said runoff will likely fill Utah’s small and medium-sized reservoirs, and most basins will have above-average surface water supplies this summer.

(Utah DNR)

The state is still recovering from a cumulative precipitation deficit, and it would take another winter like this one to wipe that out.  On the drought monitor, Utah is no longer in exceptional drought, and only 1% of the state is still in extreme drought.

“We’re not out of the drought. But we’re not seeing that phenomenally terrible drought condition that we had a couple of years ago across the state,” Clayton said.

Peak snowpack still depends on the weather. Clayton said the peak may occur in mid-April rather than early April due to the cool temperatures and additional snowfall.

Excluding Lake Powell & Flaming Gorge, the Utah Division of Water Resources said Utah’s reservoirs were at 55% capacity as of Thursday. Lake Powell is at 22% capacity, down from 25% at this time last year. Flaming Gorge sits at 66% capacity, down from 77% last March.

KSL 5 TV Live


Flooding temporarily closed state Route 39 in Ogden Canyon Tuesday morning. (Utah Department of Pub...

Josh Ellis

Utah roads, parks close due to flooding and high runoff levels

Several roads were closed due to flooding Tuesday morning, and warm temperatures will keep rivers and creeks running high throughout the day.

1 month ago

Gov. Spencer Cox speaks during a press conference at the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District's...

Carter Williams

Utah launches statewide turf grass buyback program as it seeks water-use reformation

This year's record snowpack has drastically reduced a drought that really began to impact Utah by the end of spring three years ago.

1 month ago

(KSL TV)...

Ashley Moser

Sandy resident builds wall to divert water away from property in anticipation of flooding

Homeowners along Little Willow Creek in Sandy are gearing up for floodwaters with sandbags, but one resident is taking it a step further to protect his home. 

1 month ago

(Spanish Fork City/Twitter)...

Madison Swenson

Spanish Fork mayor issues emergency declaration for flooding

An emergency declaration was issued Monday in Spanish Fork due to flooding issues.

1 month ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Shelby Lofton

Trenches built to hold runoff too shallow, homes in several subdivisions flood

Homeowners said they had eight feet of snow in their yards a few days ago. Today, it's half of that.

1 month ago

Emigration Creek water levels close to the dinner. (KSLTV)...

Dan Rascon

Flood warning in effect for Emigration Creek as spring runoff raises water levels

Emigration Canyon is under flood watch as the waters in the creek are running very high and very fast Monday.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

Close up of an offset printing machine during production...

Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...

Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...

Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.

notebook with password notes highlighted...

PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.

Greatest snow on Earth: Utah’s snowpack hits record high