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June 2020 Climatological Summary

June 2020 featured two storms that were incredibly COLD. The first June 7-9 produced a low of 35 F ( 1.6 C) on June 9 along with 1.53" (3.9 cm) of precipitation. Again the first week of June brought some big rains. The second one, on the last days of the month, produced a low of 43.3 F (6.3 C) on June 29, along with 0.25" (0.6 cm) of rain. The full month produced 2.41" (6.1 cm), far ahead of the 23 year average of 1.08" (2.7 cm).

The mean temperature of 66.1 F (18.9 C) was a full degree below the 23-year average. There were only 2 days where the temperature exceeded 90 F (32.2 C). Just because this June had a below-average temperature, does not mean global warming is not happening, it just means that global warming does not override natural variability in the day-to-day and month-to-month weather.

May 2020 Climatological Summary

The spring drought continued through May. A storm on May 22 and 23 brought a half-inch (0.50" / 1.27 cm) of rain and that single storm provided most of the precipitation during the month. May is typically a wet month but not as wet as March and April. This spring was very dry which has brought us to a situation of HIGH FIRE DANGER much earlier in the year than normal. Unless some significant rain in June moderates the danger, there could be a lot of fires this summer. Please be careful when in the mountains or other open areas.

This May was 3 degrees warmer than the 23-year normal reaching 61.2 F (16.2 C). The last three days of the month featured high temperatures above 90 F (32.2 C). The 23-year high for May is 96.4 F (35.8 C), while the highest this year was 95.8 F (35.4 C).

The first week in June is often stormy, but not always. I remember in 1968 that it snowed in Holaday where I grew up during the first week in June. There were riots all across the U.S. at that time, similar to this year. That was the only valley snow in June that I have ever seen.

April 2020 Climatological Summary

Welcome to the desert! April 2020 was the direst April in the recorded history of Salt Lake City Utah!

A dry April is not good. We count on April for a good portion of our annual rainfall. Normally it is the wettest month of the year in northern Utah. This dry month is a setback to what was looking like a good year with respect to water. Can a wet May make up for it? Yes, but it would have to be a May which has significantly more rainfall than normal.

My rain gage recorded just 0.33" (0.8 cm) of rain. While a few days were pure sunshine, more days were highly filtered by mid to high-level clouds adding to the gloom of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Just before the month ended the temperature shot up to 85 F (29.4 C) on April 29. Early in the month, there were just 5 days where the temperature fell below 32 F (0 C).

This year April added to our dry conditions whereas normally it puts more moisture in the ground than it takes away.

March 2020 Climatological Summary

March 2020 came in like a LION with 3-4" (7.6 to 10.1 cm) of heavy wet snow. It ended more like a LAMB even though full days of sunshine were hard to find this year.

Precipitation for March totaled 1.73" (4.4 cm). Compared to my 23-year normal it was just a bit below normal. Last year was the wettest March I've ever recorded with precipitation totaling 4.62" (11.7 cm). There were places nearby with more precipitation this month, as some storms danced around Sandy. Normally March and April are the wettest months in the Salt Lake City area and we depend on them for each year's precipitation rising to its normal level.

The highest temperature for March 2020 was 67.7 F (19.8 C). The low was 19.6F (-6.9 C) on March 6. The mean temperature was 44.1F (6.7 C) which was slightly above normal 42.8F (6.0 C).

February 2020 Climatological Summary

While January 2020 was on the warm side February 2020 was on the cold side. Winter was pleasant in January, not so pleasant in February. The mean temperature was 33.6 F (0.9 C), which was actually colder than January 2020 which came in at 34.0 F (1.1 C). Surprisingly the coldest temperature of the winter of 2019-2020 came on February 4th at 6.4 F (-14.2 C). It is rare indeed when the coldest temperature of the winter falls outside the range of December 23 - January 10.

The month also offered plenty of snow with the biggest storm on February 3rd which left nearly 1" (2.5 cm) of water content. The month's total was 1.76" (4.5 cm). The last half of the month was dry, but that dry period ended on the 1st of March when 4" of wet snow came that Sunday morning.

January 2020 Climatological Summary

With a mean temperature of 34 F (1.1 C) this January was quite warm. My 23 year average at this location is 30.3 F (-0.9 C). The high temperature was 52.5 F (11.4 C). That was warm but does not match 62.1 F (16.7 C) in 2003. The mean temperature that year was 28.6 F (-1.9 C).

Precipitation was a bit light at 1.87" (4.7 cm). Through most of the month, the upper airflow was "zonal" meaning west to east. That pattern brings warmer than normal air and frequent storms that moved through very fast. Good for the mountains, not as much precipitation in the valley.

December 2019 Climatological Summary

Not much to say about December 2019 other than it was about three degrees Fahrenheit (1.6 C) warmer than normal (based on the last 22 years at this location). That extra warmth helped eliminate some of the high concentration of pollutants that would have otherwise occurred. Just keeping most days with no snow on the ground did a great deal to help the air stay clean.

The two stormy periods were around December 8 and December 13, which accounted for most of the month's precipitation. A snow/rain mix for Christmas also provided 0.40" (1.0 cm) but did not hinder travel or require snow removal in the valleys. Total precipitation was about normal at 1.47" (3.7 cm)

The mountains did well from each of the stormy periods, logging about 5 feet (1.5 meters) of snow on our nearby mountain peaks.

November 2019 Climatological Summary

October was DRY (0.70" / 1.8 cm) and November (0.96" / 2.4cm) was somewhat drier than normal. Our ski resorts did alright because October was so cold the resorts could make snow at night. Then comes late November and winter begins right on schedule with 9" (22.9 cm) of snow, most of which fell on the afternoon of November 29.

The mean temperature for the month was "near average" at 39.7F (4.3 C). Remarkably there were 11 days with high temperatures above 60F (15.6 C) between November 5th and 19th, a very nice slice of extended pleasant fall weather.

October 2019 Climatological Summary

October 2019 can be summed up in one word: COLD! So cold I quit mowing the lawn two weeks earlier than in the last few years, So cold we had one morning where the temperature was below 10 F as the thermometer dropped to 8 F (-13.3 C) on October 30. The average temperature for the month was 43.5 F (6.3 C). The 22-year average at this location is 48.7 F (9.2 C), which may not seem like much, but in meteorological terms it's huge.

The reason for the cold was that there were two periods when the upper air winds were directly from the north bringing really cold air from the arctic.

Precipitation for the month was below normal at 0.70" (1.8 cm). The 22-year average is 1.26" (3.2 cm) The cold air brought some snow to the valley 2-3 weeks before the normal first snow (November12). The tops of our mountains are covered with snow that won't disappear until next July. It's been cold enough that the ski resorts are making their own snow by shooting water out of large nozzles.

September 2019 Climatological Summary

Early in September, we had some rain from the Western Desert Monsoon which often occurs in August and September. However, the shift away from the monsoon and the return of cold fronts driven by the jet stream Under global warming we expect this switch to be later than normal, but since global warming does not preclude normal variability in the weather, this just like to heavy snowstorm in April is not evidence that global warming is not occurring

With both monsoon moisture in the month and less activity in the month the total precipitation of 1.97 "(5.0 cm) was above the average of 1.17" (3.0 cm). The first five days had temperatures above 90 F (32.2 C), which is 2.5 more days than average.

The US National Weather Service (NWS) outlook for October - December calls for warmer than normal temperatures, which if accurate would be less than normal snowfall through the end of 2019.

Personal Note: In September 1971 I was at senior at Olympus High School. During the last few days of September over 4 inches (10.1 cm) of heavy wet snow fell for homecoming. Thus I must ask why is it a big deal that 1.5 "of snow fell in Montana this year??

August 2019 Climatological Summary

Last month: "Hot and Dry". The month followed the exact same script as July 2019.

Often the Western Desert Monsoon (my own name for this weather event) That moisture stayed mostly south of Salt Lake City. August 8 was the exception when a squall line of thundershowers went across the valley l ate in the afternoon. That day 0.53 "(1.3 cm) fell. That was pretty much all the rain recorded in August.

On August 6 the temperature hit 101 F (38.4 C). The second day of 2019 with temperatures over 100 F. The Salt Lake Airport recorded 9 days over 100.

July 2019 Climatological Summary

July 2019 was slightly hotter 77.2 F (25.1 C) [normal 76.5F] and drier than normal 0.19" (0.5 cm) [normal 0.55"] based on a 22 year record of weather in this area. There was one day with a temperature over 100 F (37.7 C) and that was July 22nd with a reading of 101.4 F (38.5 C). Meanwhile. the Salt Lake Airport had 6 days over 100 F. [Note: the airport is at a 300 foot lower elevation than this station).]

Given the dryness of the month and the wild grass that grew during the wet spring, it was notable that not that many significant wildfires have erupted across Utah. Summer rainfall amounts are erratic since you can have a heavy thunderstorm in one area and nothing only a few miles away.

July 2019 Climatological Summary

July 2019 was slightly hotter 77.2 F (25.1 C) [normal 76.5F] and drier than normal 0.19" (0.5 cm) [normal 0.55"] based on a 22 year record of weather in this area. There was one day with a temperature over 100 F (37.7 C) and that was July 22nd with a reading of 101.4 F (38.5 C). Meanwhile. the Salt Lake Airport had 6 days over 100 F. [Note: the airport is at a 300 foot lower elevation than this station).]

Given the dryness of the month and the wild grass that grew during the wet spring, it was notable that not that many significant wildfires have erupted across Utah. Summer rainfall amounts are erratic since you can have a heavy thunderstorm in one area and nothing only a few miles away.

June 2019 Climatological Summary

Sandy Utah Climatological Summary for June 2019

As June opened the weather started to normalize. Often the first week in June brings rain, and this year was no different with 0.41" (1.0 cm) falling in the first six days. Little additional precipitation happened for the rest of the month, with the final total being 0.61" (1.5 cm).

Temperatures remained cooler than normal. This year the average was 63.8 F (17.6 C) while the 22 years average for June is 67.5 F (19.7 C). There is a theory about why the maximum temperates (for our area these happen during the last two weeks of July) lags so far behind the summer solstice. The theory states that temperature lag because so much energy goes into snowmelt and this retards the temperatures from reaching their max for every summer season. That sure seems to be what's happening this year and incredible snowpack in our mountains has not yet all melted. I think there is a bit more than a 50% chance that this summer will not see any temperatures over 100 F (37.7 C).

May 2019 Climatological Summary

Sandy Utah Climatological Summary for May 2019

RAIN, RAIN, Go Away and Come again another YEAR. Yes, that's how we are feeling after all the rain this Spring. By the way, according to meteorologists, spring has ended, since we define it as March, April, and May. See the diagram below for details of the rain that was recorded here in Sandy during May 2019.

Seventeen days in May had measurable precipitation, including 13 of the last 16 days! Such streaks of rainfall are highly uncommon in Utah, after all this really is desert country. It has been wet in many places across the U.S. this spring. The total May precipitation was 3.92" (9.9 cm). May of 2011 had the most rain of any May during my 22 years of records. That month recorded 5.79" (14.7 cm). The first 5 months of 2011 recorded a total of 16.9" (42.9 cm), compared to this year's 17.45" (44.3 cm). Thus this year's first 5 months tops all of the last 22 years. At the airport, this year is the 2nd wettest on record, but their records go back to the 1860s.

Only 13 days had rainfall back in 2011 versus 17 this year. The mean temperature in 2011 was 52.2F (11.2C) versus this years 54.3 F (12.4 C), both of which are below the 22 year average of 57.4F (14.1C). The highest temperate for May was 81F (28.9C) FThe wet and cool temperatures have wrecked the planting of crops in many areas of the United States. The impact on agricultural production could be significant.

April 2019 Climatological Summary

Sandy Utah Climatological Summary for April 2019

The incredibly wet start to 2019 continued all the way through April as stormy weather continued in Salt Lake City. The total precipitation for the month was 3.99 inches (10.1cm). While not the wettest April in my 22 years of records (April 2011 - 5.03 inches (12.8cm)). In just four months we've received 13.65 inches (34.67cm), which is well above average even when considering that March-May is the wettest time of the year in Salt Lake City. The average over the past 22 years at this location is around 18 inches (45 cm). Snow in April is not unusual and this year we had some of that. The temperatures were slightly above normal at 50.7 F (10.3 C). The highest temperature this month was 75.6F (24.2 C) on April 19.

The National Weather Service outlook for May 2019 calls for another month of above normal precipitation (around 40% above average). The outlook for May temperature is for near normal.

March 2019 Climatological Summary

A month ago when the National Weather Service predicted significantly above average precipitation for March, that was a bold prediction. Now we can see that their precipitation prediction for northern Utah was spot on. In Sandy, 4.62" of rain fell (11.7 cm). My friends in India where the Monsoon season will begin in May would regard this amount as a heavy shower. Even with March (along with April) being the wettest months in the Salt Lake City area, this was an exceptionally wet month, exceeding all March months in Sandy since records began in 1998. March 2017 held the prior record at 3.69". On a few days, the precipitation all fell as rain, but there were many days of snow as well.

The high temperature for the month was 66.4F (19.1 C) on March 27, the first day that really felt like spring. The coldest day was March 15 with a low of 19.2F (-7.1C). Neither of these temperatures were close to the 22-year extremes of 78.5F (25.8 C) and 10.4F (-12.0 C). Twenty-two of the thirty-one days saw temperatures drop below freezing 32F (0 C).

The National Weather Service outlook for April 2019 for the Salt Lake City area calls for somewhat above normal precipitation and slightly above normal temperatures. Such values are based on the average of the prior 30 years which defines the current climatic period.

February 2019 Climatological Summary

In terms of snowfall, February was much closer to normal than any February in more than a decade. The snow on February 6 totaled 15 inches (38 cm). This was the largest snowstorm in recent years and forced the closing of schools in the Salt Lake City area.

Less intense snowstorms continued through the month. In the mountains, the snow's depth was measured in feet rather than inches. Multiple feet of snow fell in the mountains each of the first three weeks of the month. This was a blessing in that the snowmelt should fill our reservoirs and provide water through the summer months.

Total precipitation was 2.51" (6.4 cm). Well above the 22-year average here which is 1.62". On February 7-8 the morning lows were cold around 8 F (- 13 C). The mean temperature was 33.2 F (0.6 C); about 1.4 degrees below the 22-year average.

With all the storms winds were also active. Near where I work two semi-trucks were blown over near the freeway, but at my station in Sandy, the winds never get too strong. The highest speed was 40 mph (17.8 m/s).

March, April, and May are the wettest months of the year in Salt Lake City. The U.S. weather service outlook is calling for a very wet March.

January 2019 Climatological Summary

Temperatures were just below normal while precipitation was above normal for January. Total precipitation was 2.41" (6.12 cm). There were two days with heavy snowfall, January 17 and 21, which contributed to 70% of the total precipitation for the month. Total snowfall was wound 14 inches or 35cm while the nearby mountains recorded 6-8 feet of snow (182-243 cm). The snowfall was welcome as it added significant amounts to the mountain snowpack which is the source of much of Utah's fresh water. Should the February - April period provide near normal precipitation, there should be enough water to take us through next summer. That said, since the mid-1980s, precipitation in Utah has decreased 2-4" per year.

Often, the coldest days of the year are in late December or early January. This year was no different with the coldest reading of the year 3,2 F (-16 C) on January 2. The high temperature was 50.7 F (10.3 C) on January 20, just prior to the snow on January 21.

Meanwhile, temperatures this past week in the northern great plains of the United States reached -40 F (which is also -40 C). Most areas that were frigid cold mid-week were are well above freezing (0 C) today as rapid warming followed the extreme lows of January 29-31.

Weather data and basic software provided by Davis Instruments Weather Vue. See Davis Instruments for more details. recommends "Weather Underground" for the best doppler radar presentation available on the Internet. and "Storm" as the best "mobile weather application" for North America.

The best on-air weathermen in the Salt Lake City area are: Dan Pope (KUTV 4 Utah) and Grant Weyman (KSL-5).

The meteorologist in charge at is Reed B. Haslam, M.S. Meteorology (1980), M.S. Computer Science (1981), University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah. He is solely responsible for the content of this web site.

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