Sunday, September 1, 2013

Easily the Hottest Ever

Source: NCDC
It will come as no surprise, but this summer is now in the books as the hottest ever in Salt Lake City, at least based on records kept by the National Weather Service, which extend back to 1874 (presumably this is a mixture of observations collected at various sites in the valley over the years).  This was a trouncing.  Based on unofficial records I have access to this morning, 2013 beat the previous record holder, 2007, by 1.6ºF.  The only warmth-related records of consequence not broken are the number of days above 100 (we're at 20, the record is 21) and the highest daily maximum of all time (we hit 105 on June 28 and 29, the record is 107).  I also think we fell short of the highest daily minimum of all time.  Note that I won't give up on another 100 until mid September.  We once hit 99 on September 12, so another run at 100 is not out of the question.

Most impressive to me about this summer was the persistence of the pattern and the very limited weather variability over northern Utah, which we have discussed in previous posts (see The Most Boring Summer Ever?).  Now that August is in the record books, we can say that there was only one day in July and August combined and only 9 days during all of meteorological summer (June through August) that produced a below average minimum temperature.  Simply remarkable.  Note that "average" in this case is likely for the 1981-2010 period.  Things would be skewed even more if we did this relative to the average of the 20th century.

Perhaps my memory is dim, but my guess is that it has been since sometime in June that we had a bonafide cold-frontal passage in Utah (thunderstorms and monsoon surges don't count!).  Let the cold-frontal watch begin!


  1. The one thing that sticks out to me is 1993. What made that year so cool?

  2. It would be interesting to compare this to a similar graph of summer precipitation.

  3. 1993 is a good example of just how much variability there is in the climate system. Perhaps we will do a comparo of 1993 to 2013 in a future post. Much will depend on the weather... haha.

    David-at KSLC, the June-Aug precipitation this year was 1.32", which ranks as the 21st driest since 1928. The driest summer was 1933 with 0.24". For regional estimates, see