Late June heat waves are the worst. Usually, heat waves in July and August are more extreme strictly in terms of temperatures than June. But I’d rather have 105F on July 20 than 99F on June 20. The reason for this is simple. We are now closer to the summer solstice — or in the case of today, right on the solstice. That means that the days are longer, and the heat drags on. The nights are shorter, which means we have less time to cool off. It also means that the sun angle is at its highest and most efficient. In short, we bake. And we bake for a long time each day.
Here’s the SLC NWS forecast for today (Monday, June 20) and tonight:
The thing that always stands out to me during these Utah heat waves is how little we cool off at night. I grew up in a similar high desert climate in far western Nevada. We’d see similar daily high temperatures, but at least we cooled off significantly at night. No such luck in the Salt Lake Valley.
The good news is that this is an early but significant hurdle in the long journey back towards winter. From here on out, the days get shorter and shorter. We’ll have plenty more scorching heat to get through, however.