Utah is in the midst of a hot, dry summer. How hot and dry? As of today (Aug 9) this is the hottest summer on record in terms of mean temperature for many locations, including Salt Lake City. Precipitation depends largely on location, but it’s safe to say that as a state, this is one of Utah’s top 10 driest summers on record.
Luckily for us, we did see some relief this past weekend with monsoonal moisture spreading into the region. Many locations saw measurable rainfall. Radar precipitation estimates over the past 72-hours show highest amounts concentrated over northern and eastern Utah:
If we zoom in to the Salt Lake / Park City area of the central Wasatch, it looks like this:
This map shows the highest amounts in Southern Salt Lake Valley stretching east into LCC as well as some decent rain just north of SLC. Of course, much of the South SL Valley rain can be attributed to one strong cell on Saturday afternoon that dropped nearly an inch of rain in 30 minutes at my house on the southeast Sandy bench. In total, some areas received up to 1.5″ of rain over the weekend while other areas just a few miles away may only have seen a few sprinkles.
I was able to get out and enjoy the newfound moisture in the soil. Sunday afternoon was prime on the Wasatch Crest with perfectly tacky dirt for mountain biking. Bye-bye moondust (at least temporarily):
Anyway, the good news is that the hottest time of the year, climatologically speaking, is the last week or two of July. August is the first month where we get progressively cooler. So we are over the hump and it’s all downhill from here. Looking through old photos recently, I saw an image from last fall where I was biking through Park City foliage during the second week of September. A reminder that Autumn isn’t all that far away.
Unfortunately, right now, most of the upcoming week looks dry with temperatures staying hot. As for this winter’s forecast, there is no way I could even venture a guess right now. La Nina is a possibility, but it looks like a weak event at best. As for how the winter will fare overall, well, that’s anybody’s guess at this point. Let’s just focus on getting to Fall first.