Monday, July 22, 2013

A Bloody Hot Summer

With meteorological summer (June, July, and August) a bit more than half over, it's worth putting our temperatures thus far into perspective.  As you might guess, they are at or beyond the outer edge of what has been observed in the instrumented record.

I'm going to concentrate on data from the Salt Lake City airport since 1948, which is the beginning of records maintained by the National Climatic Data Center for the Salt Lake City Forecast Office.  The National Weather Service has data for Salt Lake City back to 1874, but I suspect that is a compendium of data from several locations.

As shown below, this June was the second warmest (in terms of monthly average temperature) since 1948, topped only by 1988 (NWS records put this June as the 3rd warmest since 1874).

Thus far, this July is the warmest since 1948, topping by just a hair 2007 and 2003.

Putting those together, if we can maintain our July average temperature at or above their current levels, this will be the warmest June–July period since 1948.  

Looking at the models, I think we have a pretty good chance of that happening.  There's some monsoon convection possible at times, and a weak trough that might cool us a touch in a few days, but that's about it.  Keep your fingers crossed.  If we must suffer, it should be to set records.  

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