Biggest water year in a decade ends

The 2018-19 water year ended with just under 10 inches of rainfall measured at Mid Utah Radio’s weather station in Richfield. The year ended Sept. 30, with the new water year beginning Oct. 1.

The water year in the Sevier Valley was the biggest the region has seen since 2010-11, according to Mid Utah Radio’s weather station in Richfield.

The past year ended with 9.96 inches of water measured at the weather station, which is on the floor of the Sevier Valley. It was more than two inches above the 21-year average.

After a dry 2017-18, the water year started with a bang in October as some 2.63 inches precipitation was measured. This was more than half of what had been recorded through the entirety of the 2017-18 water cycle.

October was also the wettest month of the year, with 2.63 inches measured. January was next, with 2.33 inches, followed by May at 1.18 and July at .97.

September was the driest month of the year with .08 inches of precipitation measured, followed by November at .09, December at .12 and February with .22.

The mid-range months were January with .25, April at .33, August at .5 and March at .93.

The statewide average precipitation ended at roughly 122 percent of normal.  The Beaver and Lower Sevier Watersheds fared the best, at 141 percent and 139 percent normal precipitation, respectively.  

“Last winter’s snowpack was fantastic,” said Jordan Clayton, supervisor of the Utah Snow Survey. The Upper Sevier was at roughly 160 percent normal snow water equivalent on April 1. 

“The excellent snowpack led to outstanding forecast streamflow volumes,” Clayton said. He said soil moisture levels ended the water year at roughly average or slightly above conditions in northern and central Utah, and drier than normal in the southern half of the state.  

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