Expert Warns of Extremely Dry Summer in Utah

(KCPW News) Weather experts are warning Utahns of a dry, hot summer, and with that comes an increased risk of fires. Randy Julander, Snow Survey Supervisor for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, says the state is a month to six weeks ahead of where it should be for melted snowpack, and in many areas of the state there is no snowpack left.

“All of our low elevation snow pack is melted off, all of our mid-elevation snow pack is melted off, and in the southeast section of Utah, everything has basically melted out. We’ve gone to basically zero snowpack in Price, San Rafael, Dirty Devil, all of Monticello, Moab,” he explains.”

Julander says it takes several components to make up a treacherous fire season, but many of those are already in place.

“What we have right now is the potential for a long summer, which means things could be very dry, we have a lot of the fine fuels in place from last year’s overwhelming snowpack, where we had lots of water for a long period of time and we grew a ton of grass, a ton of brush,” says Julander.

Julander says the last time Utah saw conditions this dry was in the early 2000s.