Friday, August 15, 2014

Arrival of the Monsoon Break

Mostly sunny skies over the Salt Lake Valley are a harbinger of things to come
Change is underway over northern Utah as drier air gradually moves into the region.  Integrated precipitable water values, which indicate the total water vapor in the atmosphere, have been declining the past two days and have dropped to below 2 cm as drier air moves in.
Source: ESRL
Yesterday, we still had a few showers and thunderstorms around (congrats to you Utah County and other area residents who enjoyed a late-night splurge), but they should be widespread today and more confined to areas of high terrain.  Further, the models show relatively dry air in place over the next few days.  The time-height section below is based on forecast profiles of relative humidity (color fill) over the Salt Lake City for the next 180 hours (time increases to the left).  For the most part, it's fairly dry.
Waxes and wanes in monsoon moisture and precipitation are known as monsoon surges and breaks, respectively.  We've experienced some impressive surges in the past couple of weeks, but it now appears the switch has been flicked and we'll be experiencing a monsoon break.


  1. Some pretty hellacious weather in the west desert Weds evening:

    1. Nice photos. To paraphrase the line from Jaws, "you're gonna need a bigger truck."