Summer has begun to sizzle around Utah. Still a couple months of heat before we start to cool off and head back into winter weather.
Short Term Forecast
We are in the heart of summer now. It feels weird to say it, but despite it being July, it's been only 4 days since I last buckled up my boots and slid down snow. July 4th at Snowbird was a blast!
Upper Cirque (not open) still had plenty of snow on it. The novelty of skiing on Independence Day was alluring to many, so if you weren't there early, you had to wait in line to get on the tram or Little Cloud chair. I got there right at opening and did just a quick snowblade before bailing. Big thanks to Snowbird for staying open as long as possible.
So far this summer, temps have been warm, but we went thru much of June without any heatwaves. In fact, it was the longest we've gone since 1998 without seeing a 90F+ maximum temp at the airport. However, now we are to the point were we are seeing temps in the 90s almost daily. 5 of the 7 days of July have been above 90 so far at SLC airport. Still, we have NOT seen triple digits yet, and there's a chance we won't see any for at least the next 10 days. So... I suppose it could be worse.
Unfortunately, we are also not seeing much in the way of monsoonal moisture quite yet. The monsoon has been slow to develop to our south and thus far we haven't seen any major surges of moisture. We have seen a few days with thunderstorms, including a chance for showers today in Northern Utah, but those have been mostly due to upper level disturbances passing to our north. When I look at the long-range models, I do see some marginal increase in monsoonal moisture but nothing major thru mid-month.
Around the world:
You may have seen some weather events in the news around the world. This spring and early summer has been quite active across the heart of North America with lots of tornadoes and severe storms. Europe had one of its worst heatwaves ever with truly insane records being broken. Alaska is also seeing a summer so hot that it is shattering previous records. I've been asked a few times if this is due to climate change. You have to be very careful to link any single weather event to climate change, as extremes have occurred for as long as we've been tracking weather, and it's almost impossible to correlate any single weather event to a changed climate. What we do know is that records are being set at a far higher rate on the warm side of the coin and seem to be getting more anomalous each year. I won't speculate on the fate of our planet or any of that, but I will say that it continues to seem obvious that we are on the upward trend with global temps.
The forecast for the upcoming winter is not a forecast at all. I have no idea. It doesn't look like a strong ENSO signal and other indicators are generally neutral as well. Let's just hope for the best! Only 100 more days until the mountains should be covered in snow again and only ~140 days until ski areas begin to open up again.
Evan | OpenSnow
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