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Weather: Utah monsoon season is fashionably late

Published August 5, 2009 7:45 pm

Weather » Cold front pushing through Utah should cool us off.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The summer monsoon season that often includes afternoon thundershowers, especially in the mountains, has come to Utah late this year but could be arriving with a bang in the next few days.

Randy Graham of the National Weather Services Salt Lake City office, said Thursday will come with south winds between 25 to 35 miles per hour in western Utah, with gusts in excess of 40 miles per hour in the south.

"There is a rather strong system for this time of year coming into the western United States and that will push a cold front through Utah and cool us off," he said.

It could also stir up dust, especially along Interstate 15 between Fillmore and Beaver, the site of the Milford Flat fire a few years ago, as well as near the dry Sevier Lake Bed west of Delta.

The weather will then get cooler as the front moves into the area. Valleys will see temperatures drop about 15 degrees, from the mid-90s to about 80.

"We anticipate scattered thunderstorms with the front," he said, "with a 30 percent chance on Friday as cool air comes over the state."

Graham said the onset of the monsoon season usually begins in mid to late July under a ridge of high pressure. This year, that southerly flow has been in a ridge too far to the west.

That resulted in a particularly dry July. The last rainfall in the Salt Lake Valley occurred on July 25; Salt Lake City received just .28 inches of rain the entire month of July after a wet June. That is just 40 percent of normal, which is .72 inches for a normal July.