WEATHER

Above-normal temperatures expected for Utah summer

Apr 22, 2024, 2:00 PM

FILE: Joana Abeel holds her daughter, Penelope Abeel, at the Draper City Splash Pad during a heat w...

FILE: Joana Abeel holds her daughter, Penelope Abeel, at the Draper City Splash Pad during a heat wave in Draper on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Meteorologists are predicting above-normal temperatures for summer 2024.(Kristen Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristen Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — If you’re hoping for a hot summer in Utah this year, it sounds like you’re going to get it. Meteorologists are predicting above-normal temperatures for summer 2024.

Changes to the Earth’s climate are guaranteeing the heat, according to KSL Meteorologist Matt Johnson.

“High-pressure systems becoming stronger, more stagnant, more persistent,” he said. “That’s going to give you larger amounts of time to get your heat waves.”

In layman’s terms, a high-pressure system occurs when gasses in the atmosphere layer on top of each other. Warm air is more easily trapped when such a system forms over Utah’s high desert.

And we feel hotter.

El Niño, La Niña and Utah summer 2024

Each year, the National Weather Service predicts how much more than normal surface waters will heat up throughout the year.

Experts call this atypical warming La Niña or El Niño climate patterns. This year’s prediction points to a transition to La Niña sometime between June, July or August 2024. 

That will lead to more dry and warm temperatures.

“Long-range models and climate predictions are saying that we will be sliding into a weak- to moderate La Niña pattern,” Johnson said, much like Utah experienced in summer, 2023.

Johnson said La Niña and El Niño predictions are most accurate for the west coast. He expects states like California and Oregon will see more drastic results of the climate pattern, than will Utah. 

Still, Utah’s summer temperatures are expected to be above average.

“I would expect your classic summer  (like) what we’ve seen the past five, seven years — above normal, hot, dry, monsoon kicking in (the) latter end of July into August.”

Despite an altitude of around 4,200 feet in Salt Lake City, residents should get used to these hotter temperatures, Johnson said.

They’re becoming “the new normal.”

Related: Spring runoff causes fast-moving rivers, officials urge caution

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Above-normal temperatures expected for Utah summer