With one day still to be added to the record books, it's safe to say that 2020 was an exceptional year meteorologically in Salt Lake City.
Let's look at the numbers through December 30th, although they won't change by more than a hair after today (December 31 is added).
2020 featured both exceptional warmth and dryness. The plot below is a scattergram of mean annual temperature and precipitation. 2020 will rate as the 6th warmest (behind 2012, 2015, 2018, 2016, and 2017) and the 2nd driest (behind 1979) on record.
This is the hallmark of a "hot drought," with higher temperatures, which lead to increased evapotranspiration and water demand for irrigation, making a moderate drought severe or a severe drought even worse.
For July to December, 2020 was the driest on record and the 4th warmest.
This is essentially uncharted territory for the combination of low prcipitaiton and warmth in Salt Lake City. Prior to the 21st century, no July-December had an average temperature above 60˚F (we've now had 5 years above that threshold including 2020).
Not surprisingly, the US Drought Monitor released earlier this morning shows about 2/3 of Utah, including the Salt Lake Valley in exceptional drought.
As we move forward through the 21st century and temperatures continue to increase, we will see more hot drought years with higher temperatures exacerbating average or below average precipitation. Near-average precipitation will increasingly feature moderate drought and below average years even more severe drought that would have occurred during the 21st century due to the effects of higher temperatures.
So we have that to look forward to...