Northwestern Utah, over and along the mountains, receives appreciably more precipitation in a year than is received at similar elevations over the rest of the State, primarily due to terrain and the direction of normal storm tracks. The bulk of the moisture falling over that area can be attributed to the movement of Pacific storms through the region during the winter and spring months. In summer northwestern Utah is comparatively dry. The eastern portion receives appreciable rain from summer thunderstorms, which are usually associated with moisture-laden air masses from the Gulf of Mexico.
Snowfall is moderately heavy in the mountains, especially over the northern part. This is conducive to a large amount of winter sports activity, including skiing and hunting. While the principal population centers along the base of the mountains receive more snow, as a rule, than many middle and northeastern sections of the United States, a deep snow cover seldom remains long on the ground.
Runoff from melting mountain snow usually reaches a peak in April, May or early June, and sometimes causes flooding along the lower streams. However, damaging floods of this kind are infrequent. Flash floods from summer thunderstorms are more frequent, but they affect only small, local areas.