Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Dry Season Begins

Lush grass and gardens in the Avenues at the start of June.
There is no official start of the dry season, but June 1st serves as a reasonable demarkation as June, July, and August are the only months that average less than an inch of rain at the Salt Lake City International Airport.

We head into the dry season with the valley looking lush (by Utah standards).   It's actually quite remarkable how green everything is given that May brought only 1.26 inches of rain to the Salt Lake City Airport, compared to an average of 1.95 inches.  That rain, however, was fairly well distributed with .54 inches falling from May 17–20 and then .63 inches falling from May 28–29.  

That's the good news.  The bad news is that our spring runoff is already almost over.  Most SNOTEL stations have no snow (white squares) or less than 25% of average snowpack snow-water equivalent (SWE, dark red squares) for early June.  The only site at more than 50% of average is Lakefork Basin in the Uintas, which sits at 71%.

The Snowbird SNOTEL has been dropping like a rock through May and it looks like it will bottom out  by tomorrow.  That would be 12 days ahead of the median day of snow cover loss and well ahead of average.

For the second year in a row, we're going to be leaning heavily on the storage in our reservoir system.  

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