Utah’s water year got off to a good start in October with precipitation hitting 90 percent of normal across the state.
Early precipitation in the water year — October to October — is important because it helps get moisture into the soil, so when snowfall melts in the spring the additional water doesn’t sink in. It instead heads for rivers and reservoirs, which provide water storage throughout the year.
The numbers come from the Utah Climate and Water Report prepared by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Soil moisture at the end of October was at 58 percent across Utah. In 2012, the level at the end of October was 42 percent.
Of more concern: Utah’s statewide reservoir storage was at 65 percent of capacity after the first month of the water year, compared to 86 percent last year.
“We are off to a good start with snowpack,” said Randy Julander, a hydrologist and snow survey supervisor with the NRCS. “And [we] have outstanding soil moisture from Provo south; adequate in the north.”