Remarkable weather year ends

One of the wettest winters on record dominated the weather news over the past year in San Juan County. The water year ended on September 30.
January and March were two of the wettest months on record in Blanding, with 50 percent of the annual total coming in these two remarkable months.
January brought 3.57 inches of water, which is 238 percent of normal, while March brought a staggering 4.09 inches of water, which is a remarkable 397 percent of normal.
Although precipitation over the final six months of the water year was just 50 percent of normal, the total water year precipitation in Blanding was 119 percent of normal.
In Blanding, the total precipitation over the last six months of the water year was 2.86 inches. The average over the six months is 5.68 inches. In contrast, the previous three years had seen wetter than average rainfall in the summer.
Monticello accumulated more than ten feet of snow during the winter. There was 30 inches of snow on the ground in Monticello on February 24, which was the highest daily measurement.
Over the water year, Monticello received nearly 19 inches of precipitation. That total is approximately 125 percent of normal.
Although not as dramatic as in the higher elevations, Bluff also had higher than average precipitation for the water year. Bluff totaled 7.92 inches for the year, which is 102 percent of the average total of 7.76 inches.
A total of eight inches of snow fell in Bluff during the winter.
Weather watchers are Jim Hook in Bluff, Kendal Laws in Blanding and Scott Boyle in Monticello.
Local reservoirs are in significantly better shape than they were one year ago.
For instance, Recapture Reservoir, near Blanding, held just 12.6 percent of its total capacity on September 30, 2022. One year later, on September 30, 2023, the reservoir is at 83 percent of capacity and is a full 32 feet higher.
It is similar at Loyds Lake, near Monticello, which is 27 feet higher than one year ago and has risen from 33 to 86 percent of capacity.
Massive Lake Powell, at the bottom of the Upper Colorado drainage area, is 43 feet higher than it was one year ago. Even so, Lake Powell holds just 36 percent of the total capacity of the massive lake.
The 34 large reservoirs upstream from Lake Powell now hold 81 percent of capacity.
The increase of available wintertime storage at upstream reservoirs means that another wet winter could have a significant impact on the water level next summer at Lake Powell.
After the most recent winter, a large portion of the runoff was captured in upstream reservoirs and had a smaller impact on Lake Powell. With a second consecutive wet winter, significantly more water would be sent downstream to Lake Powell.

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