Sandy Utah Weather Blog 2015
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December 2015 Climatological Summary

Finally we had a "normal winter month" with snow and seasonably cold temperatures. The set up of "El Nino" off South America's pacific coast indeed changed the weather pattern for this winter season. Luckily this winter should be more normal than last and hopefully will provide sufficient snow in the mountains to replenish our reservoirs. Southern Utah will probably do get more snow than northern Utah.

Two major winter storms hit December 10 and 25th (Christmas Day). The storm on the 10th produced 16" of snow, while the Christmas day storm produced another 6.5 inches of snow. Combined, these two storms produced more snow that all that came during the 2014-2015 winter season. They were welcomed, as they really added to snow in the Wasatch mountains. The Christmas Day storm included lake effect snows over parts of the Salt Lake Valley including Sandy, while the southwest part of the valley largely missed out.

November 2015 Climatological Summary

Frost did not come this year until November 7th. That was quickly followed by the first snow of the season on November 10. While the frost was late, the snow was pretty much on schedule. Things remained on the dry side as there was no more precipitation until the 28th of the month. The month was slightly drier than average and somewhat warmer than average.

November 10, 2015 - Just 3 days after the first frost we get the first snowfall in the Salt Lake valley. About 2 inches of snow fell providing a half inch of water.

November 7, 2015 - First FROST of the season this morning. Actually the temperature went below 32 at 6:45pm on the 6th as cold air moved in. The temperature bottomed at 7:45 22.0 degrees. Normally the first frost in the Salt Lake valley happens around October 13th. So this year it happened nearly a month later. It is very unusual that at the time of the first frost that the temperature plummets to 10 degrees below freezing. Leaves started falling from the trees by the bushels.

October 2015 Climatological Summary

October 2015 continue the trend of somewhat below normal precipitation. The total for the month was just of an inch. There were three rainy periods, October 2-3, 17-20 and 29-30. What was unusual was that the temperature never fell below freezing! It came close on the 28th at 32.2 degrees. Temperature really cooled down on the 27th.

September 2015 Climatological Summary

September 2015 was rather normal temperature wise and a bit below normal with respect to precipitation. All of the rain happened in the middle of the month; September 14-17; with over an inch on September 15.

August 2015 Climatological Summary

August 2015 - HOT and DRY Generally August is hot and dry; however, this year the hot extended all the way to the end of the month, which is unusual. 15 days with temperatures above 90 degrees is a bit higher than normal. The last such day was August 28th. The total rainfall was 0.78 inches more than half of which came on August 3rd. The total for 2015 is just 12.25 inches which means that the rest of the year will need to be incredibly wet to bring us up to the average of 19.14 inches for the calendar year.

July 2015 Climatological Summary

July - Cooler and wetter than normal (except for Sandy) - A very hot end of June and very early July quickly turned to a cooler early in the month. July 2nd and 3rd were the hottest days of the whole month at 97.7 degrees. Usually the hottest part of the year is July 15 - August 5. This year the hottest period will be June 24 - July 4. Unless something crazy happens those days will be the hottest period of the Summer of 2015. There was a wet period between July 6 and 10. Other areas near Sandy received a lot more rain than the 0.61" that fell here. The total for the month of 0.65" was about normal. The highest wind speed of 35 mph occurred not surprisingly on the wettest day of the month - July 8.

June 2015 Climatological Summary

June - Just About Normal - June 2015 was pretty much a normal June. Like usual, early June was wet at time. Sandy missed out on most of that, but heavy rains did hit northern Utah on June 6. Like normal, as soon as about the 10th of the month arrives, the weather turns DRY. This year there was no precipitation after June 7th. AGAIN, the driest day of the year in the Salt Lake area is June 28. True to form there was no rain that day. The only part of June that was a bit abnormal was the very hot temperatures at the end of the month. Both June 28 and 29 were over 100 degrees, hotter than normal, but not unheard of for late June.
June 6, 2015 - Early June Rains Rain in early June is not unusual in the Salt Lake City area. Heavy rains broke out all around Utah on Saturday June 6. Sandy did not have the worst of it by any means. Nevertheless at 8pm the skies open up and thunder belted out, yielding 0.33 inches in just 15 minutes. The maximum rain rate at 8:10pm was 4.06" per hour; a very high rate for the desert.

May 2015 Climatological Summary

Finally the Spring Rains CAME. May 2015 was a wet month; but guess what May 2011 was even wetter and that was not so long ago. Any time we get of 5 inches of rain in a month, that a big number because it represents 25% of the expected precipitation for the entire ayer. This May our Sandy Utah Weather station recorded 5.12 inches of rain. May has 31 days and only 10 of them were rain free.

The MAY rains were not enough to break our current drought, but it improved our situation greatly.

Also unusual was the fact that there was NO FROST in May 2015. The coldest temperature was 36.5 degrees on May 11.

Looking ahead - June is usually DRY except for the first week of the month, with the last week of June the statistically driest week of the year. It almost never RAINS on June 28; like less than 1% of the time.

May 24, 2015 - Another week MORE Rain May 17-23 measurable precipitation fell each and every day (thought the 21st and 22nd each had only 0.01"). The total for the week was 1.08". Yes another week another inch! The total for May 2015 is now 4.26". Still May 2015 had not yet exceeded May 2011 for total precipitation. During may 2011, 5.79" fell, and this month is not likely to equal that month.
May 17, 2015 - We got what we asked for last Sunday Another full inch of rainfall during the past 4 days. This really wet pattern looks like it will continue, much to the chagrin of spring outdoor sports enthusiasts.
May 10, 2015 - An inch a week is all we ask The previous 7 days produced over 2" of rain, keeping everyone's grass nice and green. The heavens once closed over Salt Lake City, have opened again, and the rains is welcome to help fight back our drought. The last time it was really wet in May was 2011 when 5 1/2" of rain fell. Since 20" is about average, every 1" of rain is 5% of the annual total. So this past week we got 10%.

April 2015 Climatological Summary

For the first time since October 2014 - The weather in April was fairly normal.. March, April, May are traditionally the wettest months of the year; at least this April was close to average. 2.66" of rain was much better than any month since August, yet it really only precipitated on six days during April. Strong winds occurred on April 14th, but the best we could muster here was 41 mph.
April 15, 2015 - "The Happy April Snow Storm" Finally something to write about. Winter finally started here as we received 7" of nice fresh white snow!" While not enough to end the drought, it was a welcome spring snow; all of which melted within just 24 hours. It was also nice that by the end of the day, all the snow had melted on roads and sidewalk; leaving no shoveling to do. When the snow was melted into water content we had received almost a full inch of precipitation (0.95). High up in the Wasatch Mountains Snowbird reported 45" of snow; one of the heaviest 24 hours snowfall amounts ever measured at that resort.

The cold front hit Tuesday afternoon at about 2:30pm. The high winds that had reached 39mph from the south shifted to the northwest. We still had to wait two hours before the rain started; quickly changing to snow. On Wednesday the snow total was enhanced by the Great Salt Lake, a low pressure to our northeast over western Wyoming, brought cold air across the lake, enhancing the amount of snow that fell.

March 2015 Climatological Summary

While it looked like March should start off like a lion, the lion quickly died, leaving us dry and begging for water.. We had a third of an inch of precipitation on March 3rd and the was pretty much it for the entire month. The months of March, April and May are on average the wettest time of year in Salt Lake City, so this miss really hurts our water outlook. Temperatures were above normal, but not dramatically so. Half of the days in March registered a low below freezing. Winds as usual were well behaved with a maximum of only 28mph. Not much wind in this part of the Salt Lake Valley.

February 2015 Climatological Summary

February was simply "Spring-like"! It was simply crazy warm. At the same time Boston, Massachusetts, was racking up record snowfall. How do you explain this? Simple, the Jet Stream in the northern hemisphere directs where it will be warm and where it will be cold. Generally, around the hemisphere there are 3-5 waves in the jet stream. During February 2015, this wave was a standing wave! That means once it positioned itself, it simply never moved. Utah and the East Coast of the United States are typically 1/2 wave length apart. This means that on average (particularly during the winter) if it is warm in Utah it will be cold on the east coast and vice-versa.

There was very little precipitation except for the last few days of the month (when the wave shifted to the west briefly). For a time it looked like March was coming in as a "Lion" and that the first part of the month would stay wet; but then the wave shifted back East and that was the end of what could have been a wet period for Utah.

January 2015 Climatological Summary

January is supposed to be the "depth of winter"; however, January 2015 was anything but winter-like! There were only 2 where the high temperature did not rise above freezing (32 degrees); January 1, 2. Those two days were also the only days where the low temperature was below 10 degrees. Normally in our area the coldest temperatures occur between December 24 and January 10. That was TRUE again this year. The total precipitation of 1.29" was BELOW normal, however, it wasn't a total bust. Almost all of the precipitation fell between January 10 and January 15, which was the only stormy period of the month.

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The meteorologist in charge at SandyWeather.com is Reed B. Haslam, M.S. Meteorology (1980), M.S. Computer Science (1981), University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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