Insufferable Summer

Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 8:17 am

Heat, heat, and more heat.  We are currently suffering through our hottest summer ever here in the SLC area.  Unfortunately, it’s also been extremely dry as well with just a trace of rain at the airport over the past month.  While we haven’t been setting maximum temperature records, our highs have consistently been above normal.  It’s the nights, that perhaps are enabling this summer’s mean temperature to threaten the all-time record.  Minimum temps have been very warm, especially lately.  Last night’s (7/21) low temps:


You can see that the airport only dropped to 79F last night! Even the mountains are warm.  The 58F low temp that Alta (nearly 9,000 feet) is comparable to the overnight temperatures in the Sacramento Valley, which is near sea level.   SLC is already susceptible to high daily minimums during the summer due to our topography.  However, lately we’ve been seeing breezy conditions that have inhibited the cooling further.  Which means that our low temperatures look more like highs.  It means that many of us have to run our AC all night long just to keep our house at a reasonable temperature.  For those of us in the Park City region, it’s been a little bit better, but still warmer than normal.

As for precipitation, normally by now we’d have seen a couple of good monsoonal moisture surges.  This year, we’ve seen almost nothing.  Today (Thursday), there is a chance for some isolated afternoon thunderstorms, but then we dry out again by tomorrow.  This isn’t to say that there haven’t been any monsoonal moisture surges.  In fact the last few days we’ve seen a good amount of moisture pushing north from Mexico. However, the same low pressure that is kicking up our winds has also been shunting all the moisture to our east.  You can see this quite clearly by looking at the estimated precipitation totals over the past 72 hours:


Our loss is Colorado’s gain.

I don’t hate summer, while I’m not a fan of very warm temperatures, I usually can find plenty of high elevation hiking and biking that makes the summers bearable.  But the biking is getting increasingly dusty — and even the mountains are getting a little too toasty for my liking.  We need cooler temps and some rain, both for recreation and for fire mitigation purposes.

I wish I could say there was relief in sight, but as of right now it looks to be just as hot (if not hotter) this weekend into early next week.  There are some hints at us getting some monsoonal moisture next week, but it’s a long ways out for any reliable forecasts.  August is usually the peak of the monsoon season, and the days start to cool off slightly with longer nights.  So all we can do is hope that relief will arrive soon….


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