Dry December in Utah, more dry weather in forecast

It was a really dry December all around the state. December is usually the wettest month of the year for Utah but not in 2011. At the Salt Lake City International Airport the precipitation was just 0.03 inches in December.When people hear of dry weather they start to worry about water supply and reservoirs. Brian McInerney, a hydrologist for the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City, says it takes a couple of bad years in a row to be concerned. McInerney says the last major problem we had was from 2000-2004 when we had a few years in a row with drought. At least two dry years in a row would be a problem.For now, he says, the water supply is still up around the state. One reason for this is because of the great amount of moisture the state received last spring and early summer. Looking into January, the forecast isn’t looking any more promising.”We’ve looked at our models all the way out through mid-January and it doesn’t look like we have any storm activity through that time,” says McInerney. “Five to seven days doesn’t show any storm activity, and then all the way out to the third week of January as far as we can see.”At the National Weather Service they can do a five to seven day forecast with the most accuracy. After seven days the accuracy of telling weather a storm is coming is a little more difficult to decide. The warmer than usual weather has been good for golfers with many courses opening up again, but bad for the ski industry. Unless things change with the weather ski resorts have reason to be concerned. Ski resorts might be closing before spring is over which is totally different from last year. Some ski resorts stayed open as late as July in 2011.

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