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We are also working on a few minor changes to the layout and design of the website, so don’t be surprised to see a few changes here and there — hopefully for the better.
Sunday, August 11:
Another Sunday, another image of snow on PIkes Peak:
Again, this isn’t really a sign that we’ll be seeing snowflakes any time soon here in Utah, but it’s nice to know that it’s occurring just a a few hundred miles to our east.
It’s looking like another warm week for the entire state. The SLC airport will once again flirt with triple digits for the latter half of the week. Moisture will be confined to eastern Utah with isolated to scattered thunderstorms developing each afternoon. Moisture might make it back to the Wasatch Front by next weekend — but likely won’t last long.
No signs of any major seasonal shift quite yet, so expect at least a few more weeks of full on summer. Since there’s really nothing new in the winter outlook, I left last week’s discussion up (below). The only thing I have to add is the CFSv2 forecast for August-October, which is showing above normal precip anomalies:
Does this mean an early start to the season with October snowfall? We shall see . . .
From last week:
July 2013 ended as the hottest month on record EVER for Salt Lake City, as well as several other cities in Utah. The average temperature at the airport was 84.1F. The previous mark was set in 2007 with an average temp of 84F. It’s worth mentioning that there are some similarities between us currently and us in 2007. In both years we were coming off a below average winters. Alta recorded only 401″ of snow in 2006-07. (They had 449″ this past winter). Both winters were then followed by record hot summers. Also, 2007 and 2013 featured weak ENSO events that carried generally neutral conditions (La Nada) into the following winter. The winter of 2007-08 turned out to be a great one in the Wasatch. With an early start, we eventually finished with well over 700″ in the Cottonwoods for the season. Of course, there is no guarantee that these similarities are anything more than coincidence — but it’s worth noting all the same.
The other good sign is the QBO. What the hell is the QBO you ask? It’s the quasi-biennial oscillation of course! Essentially just an oscillation of tropical stratospheric winds. If you’d like to know more, I encourage you to google it. The QBO doesn’t have as obvious of effects on our weather as some of the other teleconnections and ENSO, but it still plays a factor. Essentially, in December of 2011, the QBO went strongly negative and has been in the state practically ever since. We’ve been pretty dry during that period with two sub-par winters to show for it. Over the last couple months, the QBO has flipped and is heading strongly positive. Again, there is no guarantee that this will bring us bountiful snowfall this winter, but it does suggest that the overall weather pattern will not look the same. In my opinion, any change is a good change as we’ve seen so much stubborn ridging in the Eastern Pacific over the last two years that has severely limited our snowfall. Let’s hope we can open the storm door more frequently this year.
Again, it is still very early and any predictions you may be seeing for the upcoming winter (I’ve seen a few myself) are just conjecture. There is a map many of you have probably seen that illustrates my feelings accurately on this point. I failed to find it with a quick google search, but essentially it just shows a blank map of North America with huge marquee that states, “It May Snow Here”. A comical way to illustrate how I hope you take this “forecast” — with a massive grain of salt. There are some signs that this year could be different but there are almost equal chances that it could be below normal again. Mathematics, however, would tell us we are due for a good winter.
Whatever happens, we’ve got you covered as always!