Monday, September 24, 2018

Will This Be a September Without Measurable Rain?

Yesterday brought a rare flirtation with precipitation to the Salt Lake Valley, with a few showers evident in the area late in the day. 

Although precipitation was reported in some areas of the Salt Lake Valley, and measurable rain fell in some areas further south including around the Pole Canyon fire, no rain was recorded at the Salt Lake City International Airport.  As a result, after 24 days, September precipitation still sits at a whopping "trace." 

Will we make it through the month with no measurable precipitation?  Well, the odds are probably better than not, but it is not a lock.  There's still about 6 days left in the month, and there are some ensemble members that bring a trough through and generate some precipitation late in the month, as illustrated by the ECMWF ensemble forecast below with 51 members.  This ensemble was initialized at 6 PM last night and 5 of the 51 members produced precipitation at the airport yesterday evening (grey lines).  About 12 (roughly 25%) generate precipitation prior to the end of the month.  The rest keep us dry. 

Source: WeatherBell
There have been four previous Septembers (1890, 1899, 1943, and 1951) without measurable precipitation.  Time will tell if this becomes the fifth, but we have a decent shot. 

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