A trough passing to our north will bring cooler temps to start this week. Smoke should improve as well. After a couple cool days, generally seasonable temps look in store to close out August and start September.
Short Term Forecast
We are now officially in the home stretch of summer, which officially ends on Friday. (Note difference between meteorological and astronomical seasons) Right on cue, we are seeing our first real taste of Autumn to start this week. A low pressure system is passing through the northern Rockies. Bringing cooler air to the region. We should see high temps only in the 70s in the valleys today and tomorrow with 50s and 60s in the mountains! Should feel refreshing! Some colder valleys could even dip close to freezing Tuesday morning. You can see the clouds associated with this system clearly on this morning's webcams, here is Cherry Peak up by Logan:
And if you go just 150 miles or so north of the Utah border, it's actually snowing up at Jackson Hole! Here is Cody Bowl webcam from this morning:
And using OpenSnow's timelapse, we can see it was dry and sunny yesterday and snowed overnight...
Closest we've felt to winter in quite awhile. The other benefit of this trough is it should eventually clear out the air. It looks like one more day today (Monday) of smoky skies, then by Tuesday thru the rest of the week, we should be much clearer as clean air moves in from the northwest. You can see this well on the HRRR near-surface smoke projections:
So stick it out one more day then hopefully we can all breathe easy again! Tuesday should be a beautifully refreshing day to get out early into the mountains and feel the first nibble of Autumn.
Looking out into the future, right now it looks like we should be pretty boring for the next couple weeks. I don't see any major systems or surges of monsoonal moisture. I'd expect the first half of September to be quiet with gradually cooling temps. Maybe we'll get surprised with something earlier than expected. It's happened before.
We still have 5 days left of summer, but the preliminary numbers show it was hot and dry. In SLC, last week's rains brought 0.43" of precip to the airport. That boosted us up from the third driest summer on record to T-11th driest on record. A 3-month total of 0.74". Some other areas of the Wasatch Front really got hammered last week. I biked American Fork canyon a couple days after the rain and there were still huge mud puddles on the trail that we had to portage around. I'd guess they got well over an inch of rain last week. Much of which fell in very short periods of time. You can tell because there was a lot of flash flooding debris on the road and washouts on the trails.
As for temperature, we were certainly hot. In fact, it has thus far been the 6th hottest summer on record. With the cooler temps this week, we may drop back further to 7th place.
We will finish more than 2F cooler than last summer. The difference seems to be that this year, we were consistently warm, but generally avoided any record setting heat waves. Only 2 days all summer broke 100F at SLC airport which is far fewer than normal.
As for me, I'm doing a bit of traveling in the coming weeks so probably won't be posting unless something interesting happens. As usual, forecasts will start to become more frequent in late September and October.
No. There are no indications on what our winter will be like this year -- as always, it could go either way. I will say, however, that there's a damn good chance it will be better than last year!
Evan | OpenSnow
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