Thursday, July 2, 2015

Heat Wave Tidbits

I feel quite disoriented this morning.  I awoke yesterday in Ketchikan, Alaska on a spectacular day.  Temperatures were comfortably in the 60s as we ferried across the Tongass Narrows to the airport.

I arrived yesterday evening at the Salt Lake City airport to an apocalyptic scene.  What the hell did you do to Utah while I was gone?  Where are the green Avenues foothills?  The patches of high mountain snow?  I haven't been gone all that long, but the transformation is dramatic.  

Much has gone on in the past week or two.  We've already spoken quite a bit about the June heat, but how about the air quality?  In Utah, we tend to think about wintertime inversions, but during the summer, our ozone can also become elevated.  Below is a time series of ozone levels on the University of Utah campus over the past 30 days.  Ozone is produced photochemically by the sun's ultraviolet radiation and shows a pronounced diurnal signal with a maximum in the late afternoon and a minimum overnight, as is clearly evident below.  However, you can also see how the peaks were highest during late June during the height of the heat wave.  

Things have been hot in the western United States and Canada, but also western Europe over the past couple of days as an upper level ridge built over the region.

The Weather Channel has a good summary of the weather records here.  98.1ºF at London's Heathrow Airport, which looks to be a July record for the UK (the all-time record is 101.3ºF set in Faversham (Kent) on 10 August 2003).  103.5ºF in Paris (2nd highest all time). 103.5ºF in Madrid (June record).  These are brutal temperatures, especially in northern France and the UK.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Salt Lake City Record Recap

No surprise here.  June 2015 spanked all previous Junes at the Salt Lake City Airport with a mean temperature of 77.5ºF.  That's 1.8ºF higher than the previous record holder, June 1988 (75.7ºF).

Source: NOAA Regional Climate Centers
And, in case you are wondering, Jan–June also came in as the hottest in the instrumented record with a mean temperature of 53.0ºF, topping 1934s 52.8ºF.

Source: NOAA Regional Climate Centers
And now onto July...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Temperature Record Will Be Obliterated

With the intense warmth of the past few days, this June is now in uncharted territory for the highest mean temperature in Salt Lake City.

With one day remaining (today), the average temperature for June 2015 now sits at 77.1ºF, well ahead the record of 75.7ºF n June 1988.

Source: NOAA Regional Climate Centers
The overnight minimum was 77ºF and the high today is expected to once again eclipse 100, so the mean temperature for the month will increase further.  Although there's a slight chance of a thunderstorm today, which could lower the minimum temperature a bit below the 77ºF recorded this morning, it looks like we will obliterate the June temperature record.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Hottest June Day Ever

In all likelihood, today will be the hottest June day on record in Salt Lake City.

The Salt Lake City International Airport recorded a minimum temperature of 78ºF overnight, tying the all-time high minimum for the month.

As of 10:30 am, it's already 92ºF and it looks like we are on pace for a max even higher than yesterday's 102ºF, which would put us at 103ºF or 104ºF.  If we hit 103ºF, our average temperature for the day, assuming we don't drop below 78 before midnight tonight, will be 90.5ºF.

On June 28 and 29, 2013, the Salt Lake City airport reported maximum temperatures of 105ºF, but the minima were 71ºF and 74ºF, yielding averages of 88ºF and 89.5ºF, respectively, lower than what I'm anticipating for today.

In addition, during that stretch of hot weather in late June 2013, the temperature sensor at the Salt Lake City airport was clearly reading high (see What's Up @ KSLC from August 20, 2013), so the books during that period are essentially cooked.

The bottom line is that you will experience the hottest June day ever in Salt Lake City today.

I say YOU because I have been happily ensconced in southeast Alaska since the Salt Lake heat wave began and haven't seen a temperature above 71ºF in over a week.  Note the rain jackets and smiling faces.

Heading home soon and not looking forward to it...

Saturday, June 27, 2015

June 2015 Now in Driver's Seat for Hottest on Record

After yesterday's minimum of 68ºF and maximum of 99ªF, June 2015 is now in the driver's seat for the hottest June on record in Salt Lake City.

Source: NOAA Regional Climate Centers
The mean temperature for the month is now 75.8ºF, 0.1ºF ahead of 1988.  The lead will be extended further today and the final three days of the month.  The Heat Miser is in total control.

Friday, June 26, 2015

More Records Will Fall

With five days to go (including today), it looks like this June will go down as the hottest on record in Salt Lake City.  

The average temperature for the month currently sits at 75.4ºF behind only 1988 (75.7ºF) and tied with 1918 (75.4ºF), with the latter observation likely collected in town rather than at the airport. 

Source: NOAA Regional Climate Centers
In all likelihood we will break the record by a sizable margin.  The NWS forecast for Salt Lake shows that the next few days will be the hottest for the summer so far.  In case you are wondering, the all-time record high temperature for June at the Salt Lake Airport is 105ºF set on June 28 and 29, 2013. 

Source: NWS
The heat is on.  Ick.