Monday, June 29, 2020

Bizarro World

It's sort of a bizarro-world situation right now with coronavirus running amok, wildfires threatening homes, and late June turning into late April.

Saturday night and Sunday, wildfires threatened homes near Lehi, Draper, and Saratoga Springs as two separate fires raged in the urban-wildland interface.  The Traverse Fire near Lehi and Draper was apparently caused by fireworks.  The cause of the Knolls Fire near Saratoga Springs remains undetermined.

The cooler weather today is a blessing, but conditions Saturday night and Sunday must have been difficult with strong winds from varying directions.

Observations from the flight park near Point of the Mountain show south-southeast winds Saturday morning through about 1300 MDT, then a shift to S-SSW, and finally a shift to north at about 1800 MDT.  Winds from about 1300-1800 MDT were sustained at 35 mph with gusts to nearly 50 and then after the frontal passage peaked with gusts over 60 mph. 

Source: MesoWest
The remarkable late-June airmass change is quite evident in the temperature trace which shows an afternoon maximum yesterday of 88˚F, a rapid drop in temperature of over 15˚F with the frontal passage, and then a continued decline to current temperatures just above 40˚F.  Thankfully, the lower temperatures, higher humidity, and lighter winds this morning should greatly assist firefighters.

We will thankfully be under the grips of this late-June trough through Tuesday.  It will be unseasonably cool today with valley highs in the 60s, which is more like late April.  The Alta Devils Castle webcam is even showing a trace of snow above about 10,000 feet. 

Tip of the hat this morning to all health-care workers, first responders, and anyone helping with relief efforts for all that you do. 

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