We will be going on a mini roller coaster over the next week in terms of afternoon temps. This weekend, we were in the mid-90s in the valleys. Today will be near 90 and tomorrow will be close to 80. Then we rebound back into the 90s late this week before another mini cool down for the upcoming weekend.
This fluctuation is due to a series of weak cold front passages as systems pass through the Northern Rockies. These are dry cold fronts that won’t offer any threat of precipitation, which means that the area will continue to dry out and the fire danger will increase across the west for the last couple weeks of August. We are already seeing plenty of smoke and haze thanks to distant wildfires to our west and northwest.
These are the dog days of summer that test my patience every year. Hopefully, this mini roller coaster ride is a harbinger of things to come. These types of temperature roller coasters are typical of September and October as we transition toward winter. A few long range ensembles have been hinting at a cooler, deeper trough as we head into the first week of September. Of course, this is way out in “fantasy land” so I put almost zero faith in it, but… it’s still fun to dream, right?
We are now starting our steady decline in average temperature… won’t be too long before I have snow to forecast for at least the high peaks of the Wasatch.
P.S. For El Niño watchers out there, the CPC’s August 17 update showed region 3.4 SST anomalies at +2.0C. That is the threshold for a “super El Niño”. Still, the official ONI is much lower as it’s a 3-month average. If this Niño is to obtain “super” status, it likely wouldn’t be for another couple months. Again, El Niño does not correlate strongly to Northern Utah snowfall, however it is my belief that a stronger event does increase our odds just a touch.