Monday, July 10, 2023

July Is a Four-Letter Word

July.  I'm not a fan.  At least in Utah.  

I hear a lot of people saying it hasn't been too bad so far.  I think that perspective is strongly skewed by the intense heat of last summer.  

For the first 9 days of this July had an average temperature of 81.8˚F at the Salt Lake City International Airport.  That's an incredible 5.9˚F cooler than the first 9 days of last July.  However, let's put it into context.  

Temperatures in Salt Lake City have climbed markedly in recent decades.  Prior to 1973, there were no years in which the average temperature for July 1–9 was above 80˚F.  

Since then, there have been 20.  This year's 81.8˚F ranks as 11th all time.  The average maximum temperature (95.1˚F) rates as 16th all time and the average minimum temperature (68.4˚F) rates as 10th all time. 

I see lots of comments about how this is urban heat island as if this changes anything.  Yes, the warming trend in Salt Lake City reflects both global warming and urbanization, but this is still the climate those of us who live here experience. 

Forecasts for the next 10 days show a very typical July pattern with a weak storm track to our north, broad upper-level ridging over the southwest, and showers and thunderstorms most active over northwest Mexico and southern Arizona and New Mexico with a few spits and spurts at times over Utah.  An example is the GFS forecast valid 0600 UTC Monday 17 July.  

Here's a look at the monotony that is the 10-day forecast generated for Salt Lake City by the National Blend of Models (NBM).  Yawn.  

At least the humidity is low, making swamp coolers effective sunrise rides tolerable.
This morning's sunrise from the 19th Avenue Flow Trail


  1. The Rent it too damn hot!

  2. As you mentioned urban hear island effect is part of the warming at KSLC, I have no problem with this since as you say that is what we all experience. My big issue with the recent warming at KSLC since 2011 (station was moved in 2011 to its current location) is the dramatic change in ground cover directly around the station. When the station was first installed it was surrounded by more native weeds/grasses you find in the area but is now surrounded by dirt/gravel. This dramatic change in ground cover has absolutely increases the temperature at KSLC by some small amount. There have been 24/7 studies done about different ground cover effects on 2 meter temperatures for several weeks to prove it, not just a one day field test for a few hours. Google Earth is an amazing resource, fun to look at KSLC changes staring in September 2011 up through the current May 2023 image.

    Yes climate change is real and human activity is increasing temperatures.