A series of storms at the end of July has turned the area’s water outlook around somewhat, exceeding the month’s normal precipitation total and cutting into the year’s water deficit.
Tooele totaled 1.68 inches of precipitation for July, which is more than half an inch above the .92 inches typically expected during the month.
According to weather data from Ned Bevan, a cooperative weather observer for the National Weather Service, Tooele can thank several significant storms that dropped 1.27 inches of rainfall. Tooele received almost an inch of rain on July 29 alone.
The storms helped Tooele meet or exceed normal monthly precipitation expectations since February. They also helped Tooele partially catch up on the water year. This year’s total precipitation now stands at 14.06 inches, just 2.07 inches below the normal 16.13 inches that the area historically accumulates by this time of year. At the end of last month, Tooele was 2.83 inches below normal.
However, climate predictions from the National Weather Service don’t expect the streak of lucky storms to continue.
Precipitation is expected to return to normal through mid-August, and the U.S. Drought Monitor, a cooperative effort of the US Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has projected drought conditions to become increasingly severe over the next month.
The long-term forecast is more optimistic. The National Weather Service continues to project above-average rainfall in September and October, on account of abnormalities in the Pacific Ocean that suggest an El Nino could develop this fall.
The last statement issued by NOAA predicted a 70–80 percent chance of an El Nino this year, which causes a temperature shift that brings warm water and increased rainfall to North and South America.
July temperatures remained roughly normal, with an average high of 92 degrees, compared to a normal 91.7, and an average low of 65 degrees, compared to a normal 65.6.
The 2013-14 water year will conclude on Sept. 30. Measurements for the 2014-15 water year will begin on Oct. 1.