WEATHER

Salt Lake’s “hottest summer” designation may require an asterisk

Sep 8, 2021, 3:40 PM
summer 2021 temperature record salt lake city...
File: Rain is in the forecast for much of Utah on Friday. Photo: Paul Nelson

SALT LAKE CITY — According to the National Weather Service, the summer of 2021 was one of the hottest summers in Salt Lake history.

But at least one Utah meteorologist says the temperatures will need to be followed by asterisks when they go into the record books.

“When we look at the overall numbers for the summer,” said KSL meteorologist Grant Weyman, “you can see places like the Bountiful station, the Tooele station a little closer to average.

“Nowhere near the spikes in temperature that we saw at Salt Lake International Airport,” he continued.

And therein lies the rub. Because the official temperature station for Salt Lake City is located at Salt Lake City International Airport. But in the year 2000, Weyman said the station was moved from a grassy area to an area closer to the airport where there’s more pavement.

“So a lot of meteorologists will look at those temperatures from Salt Lake International and scratch their heads a little … because of that station moving years ago,” Weyman said.

Another factor to consider is the presence of urban heat islands.  Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, indeed much of the Wasatch Front have all experienced dramatic population growth in the last 20 years. 

All those new people are in new buildings with new driveways and new roads. They shop at new shopping centers that have big new parking lots. According to NASA, all of these new non-grass (and often dark) surfaces absorb light and exude heat.

That’s not to say that it wasn’t hot in Utah this summer. It was. Temperature records were broken twice in June and then again, in July.

But Weyman said it’s undeniable that temperatures at other locations along the Wasatch Front seem a lot closer to average than those that came from the airport this year. 

Keep reading:

 

Today’s Top Stories

Weather

Sprinkler watering lawn pictured. Drought water conservation made improvements this year....
Chris Jacobs

Water levels indicate that Utah’s water conservation efforts are working

The Division of Water Resources reported that drought conditions are lower than last year and water conservation has maintained consistent water levels.
13 hours ago
Damage from Hurricane Ian...
ADRIANA GOMEZ-LICON Associated Press

Ian returns to hurricane status, meanwhile floods trap many in Florida

Hours after weakening to a tropical depression while crossing the Florida peninsula, Ian regained hurricane strength Thursday evening after emerging over the Atlantic Ocean.
2 days ago
People at the BYU game in Florida dealing with rain....
Adam Small

Chance of thunderstorms Thursday could affect BYU game

BYU faced difficult weather during its game in Florida, and now the weather might be messing with tonight's game against the Aggies.
2 days ago
Utahns head to Florida to aid in relief from Hurricane Ian....
Aubri Wuthrich

Utahns volunteer with American Red Cross to aid hurricane evacuees in Florida

The American Red Cross has volunteers on the ground in Florida to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
2 days ago
Hurricane Ian flooding in Naples, Florida....
Amir Vera, Eric Levenson, Jason Hanna and Nouran Salahieh, CNN

Hurricane Ian weakens to Category 3 after making landfall in Florida, but officials warn the worst is yet to come

Hurricane Ian has weakened to a Category 3 storm hours after pummeling southwestern Florida Wednesday, but officials are warning people to stay inside as the worst of the storm is still on the way.
3 days ago
utah NWS warnings...
Mark Jones

Severe thunderstorm warning issued for Davis and Weber counties

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for parts of Davis and Weber counties on Wednesday night. There is a slight chance of more rain on Thursday, according to KSL weather.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
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.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Salt Lake’s “hottest summer” designation may require an asterisk