Monday, July 11, 2016

A Few Perspectives on Our Wonderful July Cold Surge

Here are a few perspectives on the wonderful July cold surge that we are enjoying today:

1. You earned it.  The summer so far (1 June – 10 July) is the hottest on record in the Salt Lake City Area with an average temperature of 78.5ºF.  The three hottest 1 June – 10 July periods on record occurred in the last 4 years.

Source: NOAA Regional Climate Centers

2. It's an unusually cold airmass for July.  The 700-mb (10,000 ft) temperature in this morning's sounding from the Salt Lake City airport was -0.5ºF.  The all-time record low 700-mb temperature in the sounding record over northern Utah is -1.4ºF.  Although we didn't set a record, we are in rare territory as only 2 days previously in July saw a 700-mb temperature below 0ºC. 

3. The valley temperatures are blissful.  Overnight minimums at valley locations include 51ºF at the Salt Lake City airport, 50ºF at the University of Utah, 48ºF at the Ogden airport (based on 5-min observations so unofficial), and 52ºF at the Provo airport (also based on 5-min observations so unofficial).  The 51ºF at the Salt Lake City airport fell 3ºF shy of the record for the date.  Minimum temperature records are so hard to set there!

4. It was quite cold at some mountain and mountain valley locations.  Overnight minimums include 30ºF at Alta Guard, 30ºF on the Brighton Crest, 29ºF at Bald Mountain (Mirror Lake Highway, Uinta Mountains), 25ºF at Bear River (Mirror Lake Highway, Uinta Mountains), and 32ºF at Tony Grove Lake (Bear River Range).  For you Park City types, looks like the Golf Course dropped to 35ºF, and that's typically the coldest place we get data for on the Wasatch Back. Perhaps some spots in the Snyderville Basin made it down to 32ºF.

5. Is the airport running hot?  A couple of readers have contacted me wondering if the Salt Lake City airport is running hot again, as it did a few years ago.  I haven't been playing close attention, but may look into this down the road.

6. A wee bit of July snow.  Check out Big Sky base and Cody Bowl at Jackson Hole this morning.  Probably better photos out there, but I have a day job.

Source: Big Sky
Source: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

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