The numbers have confirmed the grim testimony of thousands upon thousands of wildfire-scorched acres of Utah land: June 2012 is tied for the driest June on record.
Only a trace of rain — less than 1/100th of an inch — was measured in the entire month in Salt Lake City, said National Weather Service meteorologist Christine Kruse.
A trace is “if it rains, but just barely wets everything. ... We can see it hit the ground but can’t measure it,” Kruse said.
The only other year that dry was 1994, she said. Weather Service records go back to 1928.
Last June, by comparison, a total of 1.23 inches of rain fell, a number that was a “good amount for June, but not a record,” Kruse said. This year’s total so far is about 6.5 inches, less than half of the nearly 15-inch rainfall total from the same point in 2011, according to the Weather Service.
Don’t expect any relief soon. The week to come is predicted to continue to be hot and dry, with highs around 100 degrees, some higher, through Friday. Some relief could come by the weekend, though most of the moisture is predicted to fall in the south and central parts of the state, Kruse said.
That rain is part of the state’s annual monsoon pattern, which should bring some much-needed rain, but also the threat of even more wildfires sparked by lightning.