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Dry water year | Preston Citizen

Dry water year

October 11, 2013
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Area gets only 76 percent of normal 

By ROBERT S. MERRILL 

Assistant editor

The 2012-13 water year ended on Sept. 30 much drier than normal in the Preston area at 13.33 inches.

And that is close to 76 percent of normal, thanks to a wet September. Normal is 17.47 inches.

Last year, during another dry period, the Preston area received only 10.62 inches, which was 63 percent of normal. New National Weather Service “normals” that came out recently boosted annual precipitation totals by about one inch in this area.

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Two years ago the water year ended much wetter than normal in Preston at 24.26 inches. That year was the only one in the past several that has been above normal.

“If you add all last year with this year’s precipitation, the Preston area is some seven to nine inches behind normal. I guess this is Mother Nature’s way of saying we still live in a desert,” said King Smith, who keeps official records for the National Weather Service.

“The problem was the lack of rain, not extreme temperatures. Yes, it was warm this past summer. But the recent water year, that just ended, was very disappointing to say the least. Now we have been officially classified as in a moderate drought.

“The outlook from the National Weather Service for this coming winter is above-normal temperatures until sometime in early spring. Then we are supposed to return to normal for a short period,” he said.

“One thing that has changed is the precipitation outlook. Instead of dry conditions, now they are saying the water year is supposed to be normal. But I feel a big winter coming on. So that means we may be below normal for temperatures and maybe wetter. Count on more water than the last two years.

“There is no La Nina or El Nino setting up and the National Weather Service doesn’t see either one forming until late next winter.”

Smith said his mind always goes back to Lake Bonneville.

This story is sponsored by FCMC: Home Health and Hospice.

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