Climate experts weigh in on recent monsoonal rain and flash flooding

Aug 3, 2021, 7:04 PM
rain flooding...

SALT LAKE CITY — The recent pattern of monsoonal rain and widespread flash flooding is nothing new to Utah, according to climate experts. 

We are experiencing a true monsoon season this year, something Utah hasn’t had for the last couple of years. That is behind the recent wave of heavy rain and flash-flooding. 

However, Utah is no stranger to flash flooding. In fact, it’s more common than we might think. 

“The last 5 to 10 years, we haven’t really had the amazing, incredible monsoon season,” Dr. Jon Meyer, a climatologist with the Utah Climate Center at Utah State University explained. “If we were to go back over 100 years, this type of pattern is most likely not going to be unusual in the long-term context of it.” 

Some rain and flooding stand out 

What might be different this year is seeing flash flooding in different areas than we normally expect. 

“Not just in the slot canyons like we’re used to seeing every July and August, but in many of these urban areas as well,” said Dr. Meyer.

He said there is also another way this year is flipping the script: the persistence of the storms.

“Which of course has produced all these amazing flash flood events that have caused havoc and damage across the state,” Dr. Meyer said. 

The drought is still problematic

Despite the heavy localized rain and flash flooding, it has only made a small dent in the Utah drought. He agrees with hydrologists who say it will take an above-average winter, or several of them, to truly pull us from the seemingly permanent drought. 

Today’s Top Stories


Sprinkler water-wise utah drought...
Mark Jones

Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District asking communities to reduce water use

The Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District is asking communities to reduce water use.
5 days ago
Utah water restrictions...
Curt Gresseth

Utah water restrictions vary based on rights and state history

A water rights guru explains why water restrictions vary from city to city in Utah in general and the Weber Water Basin in particular.
8 days ago
The Central Utah Water Conservancy District says it has enough water for now....
Marc Giauque

Utah’s largest water district says there’s enough water — for now

The managers of Utah's largest water system are saying there's enough water in the Central Utah Water Conservancy District for now.
12 days ago
Ogden water shortage...
Simone Seikaly

Ogden mayor declares water shortage, implements watering restrictions

OGDEN, Utah — The Mayor of Ogden is setting some strict water rules after declaring the city is in a state of severe water shortage. The guidelines he’s issuing are effective immediately. Cited in the mayor’s announcement was that the snowpack is at 65% of the average, and Pineview Reservoir storage is currently at 52% […]
13 days ago
wait to water...
Dan Bammes

Wet weather means wait to water says USU expert

Due to the water received in northern Utah in April and May, an expert with Utah State University has homeowners can wait to water their lawn.
13 days ago
snow mapping by plane...

To refine water forecasts, Western cities map snow by plane

Mapping by plane is one way that water managers are adjusting as climate change disrupts weather patterns and makes forecasting trickier.
13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Climate experts weigh in on recent monsoonal rain and flash flooding