2020 was one of the record books
(ABC4 News) – As we say goodbye to the worst year in history, it’s important to look back on the Utah weather and hope for better days ahead.
The month of December in the capital was rather average. The normal average temperature in Salt Lake City for the month is 30.3 Â°. In 2020, the average temperature was 30.0 Â°. An average temperature is calculated by adding all the daily maximum and minimum temperatures and dividing by the number of days in a given month.
The record average temperature is 41.7 Â° set in 1917. Sadly, for the sixth consecutive month and 8 of the last 9 months of 2020, Salt Lake City finished well below its normal monthly total precipitation with just 0.34 â³. Normal total precipitation in December is 1.41 â³ with a record 1983 precipitation of 4.37 â³. It was also the driest December 8th ever.
December is also the snowiest month on average in Salt Lake City at 13.2 â³. However, the city was only 1.8 â³, making it the least snow-covered December 9th of all time.
Looking at 2020 as a whole, Salt Lake City recorded the 5th highest average temperature of 66.6 Â°, the 7th lowest average temperature of 44.7 Â°, and an overall average temperature of 55.6 Â°, making 2020 the 6th hottest year on record. 2012 remains the hottest year on record with an average temperature of 56.6 Â°.
Annual snowfall in Salt Lake City was 38.5 â³ compared to normal annual snowfall of 56.2 â³. This is the 7th year in a row with below normal snowfall and the 11th time since 2008 that the city has measured below normal annual snowfall.
Salt Lake City ended the year with just 8.98 â³ of total precipitation, the second driest year on record. One year of normal precipitation is equivalent to 16.1 â³. With just over half of the total annual precipitation, the state and region remain in a continuing drought that continues to stifle agriculture and the amount of snowfall that has accumulated in the dead of winter.
Almost 70% of the state has been subject to exceptional drought, the highest level on the Drought Monitor. With a slow start to the winter season, we would need several successful storms or a consistent storm cycle to put an end to a drought with no end in sight.
There have been some memorable events related to natural disasters in the state. In March, the Wasatch front was rocked by a magnitude 5.7 earthquake causing extensive damage near the epicenter of Magna. The month of May brought unthinkable tragedy when two young sisters from western Jordan were swept away by flash floods in Little Wildhorse Canyon, near Goblin Valley State Park.
September arrived with two record breaking events: the first occurred on September 5 when Salt Lake City recorded the second highest temperature of 100 Â° on record and just 3 days later gusts of 100 mph left 200 000 people in northern Utah without power, downed trees, and property damage from one of the most severe windstorms in history.
* As the capital of Utah, Salt Lake City has been the most consistent source for keeping records of temperature, precipitation, snowfall, and other weather events and records since 1874.