Monday, July 10, 2017

Evolution of the western "Death Ridge"

The loop below shows very nicely the evolution of the western "Death Ridge" from 1200 UTC (0600 MDT) Saturday 8 July through 1200 UTC (0600 MDT) Saturday 15 July.  The evolution is subtle, but there is some weakening early this week (hence the slight drop in maximum temperatures), followed by a Lazarus like return to dominate the circulation over the western US by next weekend.

At this point, I rate the odds that this July will go down as the hottest on record in Salt Lake as better than 50/50.  That is admittedly a risky forecast to make with three weeks left in the month, but we are off to a hell of a start.  Through the first 9 days of July, the average temperature for the month was 86.5ºF.  If that were to hold for the entire month, we would beat 2014 by a full 2.4ºF.

Source: NOAA Regional Climate Centers
At this point, I hope that either the models are wrong or we break the record.  If we must suffer, we may as well get bragging rights.


  1. If those 20C 700-mb temperatures for next weekend verify, it looks like we could make a run at the all-time record high. It's a ways out but they have been remarkably consistent in forecasts.

    1. Indeed. I think the all-time 700-mb temperature here is 20.2ºC. GFS currently spitting out 18.4ºC on Saturday afternoon and 19.3ºC on Sunday afternoon. We'll see how things play out.

      I keep hoping for backpacking weather. Alas....