SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Happy December! Today marks the start of “Meteorological Winter.” Meteorologists classify seasons into four periods made up of three months each. The seasons are defined as winter (December, January, February), Spring (March, April, May), Summer (June, July, August), and Autumn (September, October, November).
Meteorologists and climatologists do this for research sake with the seasons based on the annual temperature cycle as opposed to astronomical seasons.
Meteorological winter is typically the coldest part of the year, and it starts on December 1st. With the start of this new meteorological season, we look back at last month as well as Meteorological Autumn.
When crunching data, we look at average temperatures and precipitation, and November was, you guessed it, extremely dry. Salt Lake City only saw 0.69″ of rain compared to our average of 1.45″, and we only received 4.7″ of snow compared to our average of 7.6″ of snow. Measurable moisture was hard to come by, with only eight days out of 30 bringing Salt Lake any precipitation. November was just one-third of the Autumn stats though, and Meteorological Fall was anything but a ball for the state of Utah.
The average temperature which combines the months of September, October, and November together then divides everything by three was 56.0 degrees. This ranks as the 8th warmest Fall since record-keeping began in 1874. The warmest fall was in 2016 with an average temperature of 57.5 degrees.
Some notable Fall records were the second latest 100-degree day on September 5. The second warmest first 10 days of October on record. The most 70-plus degree days, ties with 1965 with 6 days.
Our total precipitation was only 1.16 inches. This ranks as the 4th driest Fall on record. The all-time driest Fall was in 1976 when just .76 inches fell. This continued trend of exceptionally dry seasons is leading to an increasingly growing drought for the state and region. Nearly 50% of Utah is under exceptional drought conditions.
Heading into December, long term forecast models continue to show at or above normal temperatures and below to well below precipitation for at least the first half of the month.
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