Tuesday, May 5, 2020

A Record Dry April and Early May in Salt Lake

Chances are that you are aware that April was the driest on record at the Salt Lake City Airport.  The start of May hasn't been any better, with only a trace of precipitation through the first four days.

Looking to the immediate future, the NAEFS ensemble has only one member out of 42 producing any precipitation at the Salt Lake City Airport through the 9th of May.  After that, about half produce measurable precipitation on the 10th or 11th. 

We'll have to see if that pans out, but lets assume we remain dry through the 9th (Saturday).  If this were to happen, the rainfall since 1 March, the start of meteorological spring, would be only 1.79 inches and would rate as the 4th driest 1 March - 9 May on record.  

Source: NOAA Regional Climate Centers
#2 and #3 aren't much drier with 1.70 (1939) and 1.78 (1956) inches respectively.  The all time driest March 1 to May 9, however, is 1934 with only 0.93 inches.  Ah, the good old days!

Of course most of the precipitation we've had this spring fell in March.  If we look at precipitation from 1 April - 9 May, assuming forecasts hold, it would be the driest such period on record, with only 0.26 inches.  

Source: NOAA Regional Climate Centers
#2 would be 1934 with 0.45 inches.

1934 was a remarkably dry spring, with only 0.93 inches for March through May.  It will remain in the record books even after 2020 due to the precipitation we received in March.  To beat 1934 for April-May, we have to observe less than 0.19" of precipitation this month.  Let's hope that doesn't happen. 

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