December 2018 Climatological Summary
December 2018 was pretty normal with respect to temperature and precipitation. There were only two stormy periods, the first around December 2 and the last December 26. Those two days brought more that 50% of the month's total precipitation of 1.73" (4.39 cm). The rest of the precipitation fell in small amounts here and there except for Sunday evening December 30 (0.14" 0.35cm). The coldest temperature happened with the first storm which brought a low of 11.3 F (-11.5 C) (December 4). Normally the coldest temperatures of the year occur between December 23 and January 10. This morning (January 1, 2019) the temperature reached 4.6 F (-15.2 C). It's possible this will be the low for this winter season. The high temperature for the month was a remarkable 52.7 F (11.5 C) that was reached on December 20. That's a remarkable high for the last month of the year. The overall average for the month 30.4 F (-0.9 C).
November 2018 Climatological Summary
Overall November was a bit dryer and colder than normal. There were two wet periods during the month, November 1-5 0.23" (0.58 cm) and November 22-30, 0.75" (1.9 cm). The first snow of the season fell on Saturday, November 24, about two weeks later than normal. Another snow storm hit of Friday, November 30, continuing into Saturday, December 1, but that storm wimped out and was not as strong as expected. In total there were 24 of 30 days with temperatures below freezing 32 F (0 C). The coldest temperature was 16 F. (-8.8 C) on November 20. The average temperature for the month was 36.7 F (2.6 C).
In total there were 24 of 30 days with temperatures below freezing 32 F (0 C). The coldest temperature was 16.1 F. (-8.8 C) on November 20. The average temperature for the month was 36.7 F (2.6 C). Please note, that global warming does not eliminate natural variability. This means that you can still have very cold weather at times. Global warming is a slow progressing phenomenon, while the weather still changes dramatically from month to month and week to week.
More than a week earlier than last year, but still two weeks after the average date of the first snowfall in the Salt Lake valley.
October 2018 Climatological Summary
With the arrival of October, there was a dramatic change in the weather, from hot and dry, to much cooler and wet. It rained every day from October 2 through October 5 totaling 2.18" (61cm). The rest of the month contributed another 0.43" (13.1cm) for a total of 2.61" (79.5cm). The rainfall was most welcome after a long hot summer.
Temperatures were near normal, nevertheless, an early hard freeze occurred on October 15th as that morning the temperature reached 22.1 F (-5.5 C). That was the lowest temperature for the month. The hottest was 80.5 F (26.9 C) on October 1st. .
September 2018 Climatological Summary
Septembers are either wet or dry. No surprise that this September was as dry as possible. There was NO RAIN in Sandy Utah during September 2018. The past four months have been exceptionally dry except for two Thunderstorms that rolled by on June 18 and August 22. The June event was mostly hail, but the August event was more than 1 inch (2.54 cm) of rain. It is no wonder that with a wet spring followed by an exceptionally dry summer that Utah had many wildfires this year.
September just a little warmer than normal with an average temperature of 67.1 F (19.5 C). There were just three days above 90 F (32.2 C). We almost reached freezing 32 F (0 C) on the morning of September 25. The first freeze is generally not until mid-October.
We are in desperate need of a wet winter and now that October has arrived it seems that the dry pattern is finally changing. The first week of October looks to be rainy. Perhaps October can exceed its normal average of about 1.50 inches (3.81 cm). The year for hydrologists starts October 1 and end September 30. So a wet October would be a great way to start the "water year".
August 2018 Climatological Summary
The West Desert Monsoon was active in Southern Utah for most of July and August. The Cedar City Utah area seemed to attract Thunderstorms for weeks. The monsoon so far has had only two days reaching northern Utah, August 21 and 22. Those days saw significant heavy rains with 1.24 inches (3.15 cm) here in Sandy. The summer total (June, July, August) was 1.85 inches (4.70 cm). The vast majority of that (1.11 inches (2.82 cm)) occurred on August 22 from a single thunderstorm.
The summer heat broke on August 18. I've known for many years its risky to plan a pool party after August 20th. The average temperature in July was 79.5 F (26.4 C), while for August it dropped more than usual to 74.5 F (23.6 C)
The total precipitation for 2018 to date is 11.05 inches (28.1 cm). Normal calendar year precipitation is around twenty inches. The probability we reach that level over the next five months is quite small. Septembers can be wet or dry (depending on the activity of the west desert monsoon), October and November generally produced moderate precipitation (around an inch), while December can be either dry or wet. That's why the chance we reach normal precipitation for this calendar year is small.
July 2018 Climatological Summary
This summer is on track to be the driest summer I can remember for most locations in the Salt Lake valley. July produced only 0.14" (0.35 cm), though other areas in the valley had a bit more. Meanwhile, the Western Desert Monsoon was dumping on portions of southern Utah, most notably the "Iron County" (Cedar City) area where strong downpours led to flash flooding and significant damages.
Wildfires are still raging over the western United States, all due to the dry and relentlessly hot summer temperatures. Costs to the state of Utah for firefighting are nearing "50 million dollars".
The number of day with high temperatures over 100 F (37.7 C) was actually less than normal, nevertheless, the average temperature for the month at 79.5 F (26.4 C) was well above normal.
As usual winds in this part of the Salt Lake valley were not an issue.
June 2018 Climatological Summary
Very dry weather returned to the western deserts of the United States during June 2018. All of Utah is a part of that desert. From mid-February through the end of May we had a goodly amount of precipitation. June 2018, for much of the state, was exceptionally dry with many areas in northern Utah recording no precipitation at all.
In Sandy, a strong but narrow thunderstorm dropped 5/8 inch (1.59 cm) hail across a narrow swath of the Salt Lake Valley around 11 am on June 18. Together with some rain the prior evening, this station recorded 0.41 inches (1.04 cm) of rain. See the story below.
This lack of rainfall setup conditions for the outbreak of many fires over the past week. The spring rain made brush grow and then the dry June weather turned it into material that was easy to ignite. There were eleven days with temperatures over 90 F (32.2 C). That's more than normal. The hottest temperature was 97.9 F (36.6 C) on June 27. The lowest temperature was 41.3 F (5.1 C) on June 11.
May 2018 Climatological Summary
May 2018 continued along the lines of March and April - much more normal weather than November through mid-February. Areas in the Salt Lake Valley got much more rainfall at the end of the month than what was recorded at my station. Nevertheless, the 1.46 inches (3.70 cm) of rain recorded in May 2018 was still pretty good, near the normal that one would expect for May in the Salt Lake area. The temperature never dropped below freezing and the maximum temperature was 86.8 F (30.4 C) on May 25. The average temperature for the month was 60.5 F (15.8 C).
April 2018 Climatological Summary
April 2018 continued the trend toward a more historically normal weather which started in mid-February 2018. The month had a respectable 2.75 inches (6.99 cm), just 0.07" ( 0.17 cm) more than March. Both months had single days that almost totaled nearly 1.00 inch (2.54 cm) of rainfall (March 14 (0.95") and April 30 (0.99")). There was a brief hot spell at the end of April with temperatures reaching over 80 F ( 26.6 C) on the 27th and 28th. Ahead of the strong storm on April 17th, the winds on April 16th were quite strong gusting as high as 46 mph (20.6 m/s). Some roof damage was noted in the area.
March 2018 Climatological Summary
To the delight of many who enjoy water, March 2018 reversed the dry pattern that had been solidly in place since October 2017. The typical spring time cold fronts returned to the western portions of the United States and provided much needed rainfall. My home in Sandy recorded 2.68" (6.8 cm). In both rainfall and temperatures, March 2018, was near the historic normals. Nearly 1 inch (2.5 cm) fell on March 14. Days with an inch or more of precipitation are becoming more normal as global warming continues. As is customary wind speeds in my neighborhood tend to be less intense than most parts of the Salt Lake valley. The maximum speed for March 2018 was 35 mph (17 m/s). Eighteen of the thirty-one days this March had low temperatures below freezing.
February 2018 Climatological Summary
The unusually dry and warm winter weather that had been going on since October 2017, turned to a more normal pattern on February 19, 2018, when a real winter storm hit the Sandy area and dropped about 13" (33 cm) of snow. This was the opening salvo that put an end to the old pattern of dry and warm and brought in the new pattern of cold and stormy. That 13 inches of snow produced over 1 inch (2.54 cm) of water content. The new stormy pattern continued to the end of the month with more snow (3" or 7.6 cm) of snow falling on Friday, February 23. The total precipitation for February was 1.31 inches (3.3 cm), just a bit shy of normal for the month. Temperatures through February 18th were very warm with a high of 58.7 F (14.8 C) on the 9th of February. Following the turn in the weather, we reached the lowest temperature of this winter season at 7.5 F (-13.6 C). That temperature is not likely to be exceeded in March or April.
The dry and incredibly warm weather continued into January, the second month of the winter season. One inch (2.5 cm) of precipitation fell during the month; half of which was from the only real snowstorm of the season that occurred on January 20, when 11 inches (27.9 cm) of dry powder snow fell. The snow was enhanced by the Great Salt Lake. Only two days had a high temperature that was below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 C), though 3 days never reached the freezing point at all! The highest wind speed was 37 mph (16.5 m/s), not all that strong. This wind was recorded the day before the big snow storm which is not at all unusual.
Weather data and basic software provided by Davis Instruments Weather Vue. See Davis Instruments for more details.
The best on-air weathermen in the Salt Lake City area is: Grant Weyman (KSL-5).
The meteorologist in charge at SandyWeather.com 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.