Tooele City received one-third of its normal precipitation for December with a major snowstorm on Sunday.
“It’s a good start and really helps, but we’ll need more like that to get back to normal,” said Ned Bevan, Tooele City weather observer for the National Weather Service.
Tooele received .56 inches of precipitation on Sunday. Total normal precipitation for December is 1.48 inches.
Bevan’s reporting station measured nine inches of snow after Sunday’s storm. The normal snow total for December is 16.8 inches.
“I have heard reports of up to 14 inches of snow in the higher elevations of Tooele,” Bevan said.
After slightly above normal amounts of precipitation during October, November precipitation totals were significantly below normal.
Bevan’s reporting station measured .53 inches of precipitation for November. Normal total precipitation for the month is 1.69 inches. Total precipitation for October and November combined was 2.61 inches. Normal precipitation for those two months combined is 3.50 inches.
“October and November are normally wetter than December,” Bevan said.
Snowfall for October and November measured 1.5 inches with normal snowfall for those two months at 14 inches. Normal snowfall for November alone is 10.2 inches.
Meanwhile, snow is beginning to accumulate in the mountains.
Snow depth at the Rocky Basin SNOTEL station in the Oquirrh Mountains measured 30 inches, up from 9 inches back on Nov. 26. The snow/water equivalent measured 4.6 inches at Rocky Basin on Monday.
Snow depth at the Mining Fork SNOTEL station in the Stansbury Mountains measured 23 inches, up from 10 inches on Nov. 26. The snow/water equivalent measured 2.9 inches at Mining Fork on Monday.
“Both those sites got a couple of feet of snow the past few days,” said Troy Brosten, hydrologist with the National Resources Conservation Service. “It would be awesome to get a storm like that once a week for the rest of the winter.”
Brosten said it would be good if Utah could get a jet stream or “Pineapple Express” across the Sierra Nevada Mountains to bring in moisture.
“Weather activity has been calm and quiet lately because of high pressure, so we get the inversion. We’re currently in a weak El Nino,” Brosten said.
Bevan reported that Tooele hit a high temperature of 66 degrees for November on Nov. 2. The lowest temperature for the month was 19 degrees on both Nov. 13 and Nov. 16.
The latest National Weather Service U.S. Drought Monitor map, released Dec. 1, shows Tooele County still under a Severe Drought (D2) status. D0 means abnormally dry, D1 moderate drought, D3 extreme drought and D4 exceptional drought.