Friday, May 15, 2020

When Will the Dry Run End?

On average, April and May are the wettest month's of the year in Salt Lake City, averaging 2.02 and 2.09 inches of precipitation, respectively.

So, the period from mid April to mid May is the heart of our "wet season," yet we have gone nearly a month now without measurable rain at the airport.  The last measurable rain we received was 0.17 inches on April 16.

Anecdotally, the foothills seem like they never got as green as usual this year and the grass growth seems stunted on south aspects.  I haven't been able to find a web site with a good comparison of fuel moisture this year compared to previous, but the National Weather Service tweeted this morning that fine and medium size fuels are near record low dryness for this time of year.

The forecast for the immediate future features a warming and blowing trend with temperatures climbing over the weekend and southerly flow predominating on Sunday and Monday.  Below is the NAM forecast for 6 PM MDT Sunday and 12 PM MDT Monday showing Utah in the southerly to southwesterly flow ahead of a slow moving trough on the Pacific coast. 

Be cautious with fire if you will be recreating.

Possibilities for valley precipitation and measurable rain at the airport thereafter will depend strongly on the track and intensity of that trough as moves through the western U.S.  The 0600 GFS has showers moving in Wednesday afternoon, but solutions differ amongst the various models available.  Let us hope a wet solution comes through. 

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