Some upstream aspects of the 1952 Spring flood in Utah

TitleSome upstream aspects of the 1952 Spring flood in Utah
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1954
AuthorsMurray, W. E.
Conference Name22nd Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 22nd Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1954
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationSalt Lake City, Utah
KeywordsFlood damage, Snowmelt

A report is presented dealing with a snowmelt flood that occurred through Northern and Central Utah during the spring of 1952. A team of U.S. Forest Service personnel made a detailed field inspection of the river basins affected and pooled the data to show the causes. 1) Above average snowpack extending from the high elevation down through the intermediate areas and well into the large low elevations of the basins. 2) A sudden rise in temperature on the first of April, from freezing to 80º F and warm nights for a two weeks period. 3) Fall rains had brought the soil moisture to above field capacity. Precise timing of these snowmelt factors removed the low and intermediate snow in a few days causing high peak flows. The high elevation snow being well consolidated did not appear in the streams until late in the season causing only minor and extended peaks. Tabulated data exhibited confirms snowpack extent and the timing of meteorological factors.