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Wet, cool August delivered more than twice the average Salt Lake rainfall

Published: Saturday, Aug. 30 2014 3:42 p.m. MDT

A tram heads back down the mountain Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, at Snowbird in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — If downtown Salt Lake City felt like Seattle these last few weeks, it wasn't just your imagination.

The monsoonal season that kicked in at the first part of the month was later punctuated by a cold, wet storm system that delivered more than twice the average rainfall at the Salt Lake City International Airport in August.

"Some areas of the state had even more rain, as much as 200 to 400 percent of normal," said Brian McInerney, hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City.

Monica Traphagan, a meteorologist with the weather service, said 1.77 inches of rain fell in August at the airport, compared to the average of 069 inches.

This month may have felt really wet compared to August of 2013, which was drier than normal and only received 0.16 inches of rain, she added.

"So we had one year where it was well below normal and one year where it was well above normal," she said.

The rainy weather has been accompanied by cooler temperatures, with highs that have been about four degrees below average.

Until the latter part of the month, she said, the low temperatures hovered around average at just shy of 63 degrees and then the cold system sent some nights plunging lower, mimicking those fall storms.

KSL meteorologist Grant Weyman said the atypical August may very well shape up to be the coolest and wettest on record in Salt Lake City. Other records could shatter in St. George, where he said the temperatures look to be the coolest in 25 years and the rainfall could top a 30-decade high.

The wet pattern duplicates much of what Utah's Dixie experienced last year, when McInerney said July, August and September produced record flooding.

While the rainfall isn't helping much with the overall water supply — that chiefly comes from melting snowpack in the spring — it has been a welcome change, McInerney said.

"We are so used to these hot, dry summers that when we do get a nice rain like we have had this year, we definitely notice," he said.

Email: amyjoi@deseretnews.com, Twitter: amyjoi16

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