Black-necked Stilt on one leg – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light
For the second day in a row the temperature will be in the 60’s when our highs are normally in the lower 40’s or high 30’s. Looking at the long range forecast for February doesn’t show much “winter” at all. There might be a little rain tomorrow and on Monday with a bit of snow forecast on the 19th but that will likely change too. March doesn’t look much better for rainfall or for snow although the predicted temperatures are more in line with what is “normal” for the time of the year. Right now though it seems like spring when it should be winter. I admit it is nice to not have to scrape snow or frost off of my Jeep in the morning but I’m more worried about the long range issues that can be caused by the lack of a healthy snow pack in the mountains.
When I look up at the tops of the Wasatch, Oquirrh, Stansbury and Promontory mountain ranges and they look more like late April or May than they do on a normal winter because there is just so little snow up there. To say we are having a mild winter isn’t saying enough really, it is alarming because it seems like winter has stayed well away from northern Utah.
We need the snow pack and spring runoff to fill the reservoirs for the water we will need for the rest of the year, to flow into the rivers that feed into the marshes and then into the Great Salt Lake. I saw a shocking comparison between the snow last year on February 7th last year up at Mirror Lake and the snow this year in the same location on the 7th of this year and it looks dismal. You can view the photos here on the U.S. Forest Service Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest Facebook page.
I am looking forward to spring migration and the birds that will arrive then but I am concerned about the lack of winter and snow right now and the impact that it will have the rest of the year.