Despite August cooldown, Salt Lake City ties record for hottest summer on record

Miles Rosenberg cools off on the Splash Pad in Liberty Park on June 14th during a Salt Lake City heatwave. That year – 2021 – set the record for the hottest summer in Salt Lake City’s history, the National Weather Service reported on Wednesday. (Kristin Murphy, Desert News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Not even one of the wettest Augusts in Salt Lake City history could stop 2021 from landing at the top of the city’s 147-year-old record book.

With an average temperature of 80.9 degrees, Salt Lake City set the record for the hottest meteorological summer ever in 2021. The record was first set in 2017.

The weather service defines meteorological summer as June, July and August rather than the time between summer solstice and autumn equinox. That summer’s record came as no big surprise as June and July broke average temperature records. The average July temperature of 85.7 degrees broke the record for the hottest month ever recorded in Salt Lake City since the Meteorological Service began tracking the city’s weather in 1874.

Another reason it wasn’t surprising is that Salt Lake City also hit the record for the most 100-degree days in a year this summer. At the Salt Lake City International Airport station of the Meteorological Service, it reached three-digit values ​​21 times, which corresponds to the records of 1960 and 1994. On June 15, it even reached 107 degrees, which was the record for the hottest temperature in the history of the city.

Still, a surprisingly – and welcome – cool and wet August brought the summer average back to the 2017 record. The average temperature fell to 76.8 degrees last month, just below the August normal of 77 degrees. Salt Lake City also received 2.29 inches of rain in August, which was not only four times more than normal, but the seventh wettest August in Salt Lake City history.

So not only did Salt Lake City break its heat record, it ended up with 0.89 inches of rain above the 2.91 inches total precipitation normal.

The Utah capital avoided the unintentionally driest year on record due to rain in late July. The rainfall in August also lifted it out of competition to the 10 driest years on record. In fact, August – usually Salt Lake City’s second driest month – carries rainfall all months of the 2021 water year and accounts for more than a fifth of the city’s total rainfall that year.

But August did not resolve the city’s annual water deficit. It remains 3.65 inches below the water year average with one month remaining. The US Drought Monitor still lists the city in its “exceptional” drought category.

Utah, as a whole, started August with its eighth warmest and 23rd ranks in rainfall and temperatures now, although rain and lower temperatures were reported across the state in August, so those numbers are expected to decline.

Meanwhile, the three-month forecast model of the Climate Prediction Center of the weather service for the meteorological autumn – including September, October and November – calls for temperatures to return above normal and the level of precipitation again below normal.


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