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SALT LAKE CITY — Bailey Holland and her siblings thought they would spend Memorial Day weekend at a water park.
However, a storm system moving through Utah over the long weekend caused plans to change. They swapped a day at the water park with a final sledding excursion in the Cottonwood Canyons.
“It’s really a lot of fun,” she told KSL-TV.
The Memorial Day weekend storm finally lived up to the hype, producing at least 16 inches of fresh snow near Alta (which equates to more than 2 inches of water), according to the National Weather Service. . It’s even produced more than 4 inches of precipitation in other parts of the Wasatch Mountains since Saturday — which matters as Utah heads into its driest season on record.
“It was phenomenal, and you couldn’t have asked for a better way to end May,” said KSL meteorologist Kevin Eubank.
Snowbasin Resort in Huntsville topped all venues in Utah, receiving at least 4.66 inches of precipitation over the past few days. Liberty, also in Weber County, received 3.55 inches. In Wasatch Front communities, Farmington received just over 2.5 inches, while North Salt Lake also received over 2 inches of rain.
Most of the snow ended up in the Cottonwood Canyons, where Silver Lake received nearly 10 inches along with Alta’s 16 inches. Even Park City received nearly an inch of snow over the weekend.
The snow hasn’t just attracted sledders, but also skiers like Brad Marshall, who joked that his group was already “not in ski shape” but eager to do at least one more run before the ‘summer.
“The snow was great. Good skiing up top,” he said. “We saw there were buried rocks and stumps so we avoided those bumps in the snow. But otherwise it was great. No problem. It was pretty bottomless for Memorial weekend Day.”
Snow basin (7402 feet): 3.58″
Snow basin (6316ft): 3.33″
Alta Collins (9662ft): 2.08″ (16″ Snow)
Silver Lake Brighton (8,740 ft): 0.96″ (5.9″ snow)
Gold Tip: 1.27″
Joe Valley: 0.14″ #utwxhttps://t.co/NntDRuwyeG
— NWS Salt Lake City (@NWSSaltLakeCity) May 30, 2022
As for drought, Utah entered May on pace with its third driest year on record. These dry conditions are why approximately 72% of the state is listed in extreme drought status.
The weekend storm won’t wipe out all of the state’s rainfall deficits, but it is helping with the dry conditions.
Eubank points out that parts of the region will now end up with May and spring totals closer to average. Salt Lake City entered the weekend with 2.41 inches of precipitation below its 30-year spring averages before receiving at least 0.86 inches to narrow the deficit to 1.55 inches.
The rain isn’t over yet either. Eubank said the low-pressure system over Utah was acting weird because it would “wrap” around the state a bit, allowing for more isolated showers on Tuesday. They won’t produce as much rain as they did over the weekend, but will keep most of the state cool and rainy before the storm clears.
The sun will return on Wednesday as an anticyclonic system sets in to start the weather summer. High temperatures will also return into the 80s and 90s across Utah.
Complete seven-day forecasts for areas of Utah are available online at the KSL Weather Center.
Contributor: Jed Boal, KSL-TV