Monday, December 28, 2020

Will This Be the Driest July–December on Record?

Salt Lake City is close to a dubious record: The driest July–December on record.  

Since July 1, the airport has received only 1.86 inches of precipitation. 

Source: NOAA Regional Climate Centers

If no more precipitation fell through the end of the calendar year, this would easily break the old record for lowest July–December precipitation of 2.20 inches set in 1958.  

However, the question is will we make it to the end of the year with no more than 0.34" of precipitation at the airport?

It's going to be close.  We have two precipitation systems affecting us before the end of the year.  Today we have a system moving across southern Utah.  It brings some light precipitation, most likely in the form of snow, to the Salt Lake Valley today.  

Accumulations are, however, limited and likely to be less than an inch of snow and a few hundredths of an inch of water equivalent. 

Then there's another storm on New Year's Eve.  The GFS forecast below shows a front moving across northern Utah at 1800 UTC (11 AM) on New Year's Eve, bringing widespread precipitation.  

Right now, the numbers being put out by the models don't seem high enough to get us the 0.34" of precipitation, but we'll have to see how the forecast evolves the next couple of days.

We really need some snow, so this is one time I'm hoping Mother Nature snatches "defeat from the jaws of victory" and we don't break the record.

A lot of people have been asking me about the "plume" products on  They, and most other downscaled snowfall products are currently down or intermittently available.  Our Center for High Performance Computing has been having some infrastructure problems following their most recent downtime.  Given the holidays and all, I don't know when it is likely that we will have things fixed or a work around.  

1 comment:

  1. Jim, please just know that you and the other scientists at the U are appreciated and respected for all the time, thought, knowledge and experience you bring to us throughout the year. Here's to 2021 being better for us all (and hopefully wetter)