SALT LAKE CITY — The root of Salt Lake City’s record-breaking heat isn’t at the top of the thermometer, it’s at the bottom.
“The thing that’s been unique about 2017 has been that our low temperatures aren’t getting that low,” said Monica Traphagan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City.
It has not dropped below 70 degrees since July 2nd. The 22 consecutive day stretch breaks the previous record of 13 days and it may not end soon.
The culprit, according to Traphagan, is a warm moist air mass settling over the state. The moisture not only drives thunderstorms but also helps hold heat, making for warmer than average nights.
Not only will opening the windows not cool your house down as much as usual, but your air conditioner may not work as well.
"We use a lot of evaporative cooling here, swamp coolers, and they don't work as efficiently in a warm, moist air mass like we are seeing,” said Traphagan.
If the month were to end today, July 2017 would go down as the second hottest July in Utah history.