BY MELINDA WILLIAMS
Clipper Staff Writer
BOUNTIFUL — With high temperatures close to normal the past few days, many people are hoping the days of 100-plus degrees are behind us.
Don’t get your hopes up.
“This year so far, we’ve had 17 days of 100 degrees or more and we’ll probably have more,” National Weather Service hydrologist Brian Mcinerney said.
The record is 21 days, set in 1960 and 1994. This year has already tied for the second hottest, compared to records set in 2000 and 2003.
The area should also get more afternoon thundershowers.
“We’ll probably see the monsoon continue through August,” he said. “The weather pattern appears to be quite active,” he said. He expects evening cooling.
Despite afternoon thundershowers, the drought continues. Watering restrictions remain in place for homeowners and farmers alike.
“We’re doing well now,” said Tyler Law one of three full time managers at Black Island Farms in Syracuse. “A lot of the more sensitive crops like cabbage and carrots didn’t come up when they were supposed to be sprouting. We replanted them and they’re doing OK now.”
Black Island Farms is one of the largest farming operations in Davis County.
Like homeowners, Black Island Farms faces water restrictions.
“We have three days each week to water the whole farm,” Law said. That includes 240 planted acres of mainly corn and grain, pumpkins and squash.
While crops are doing well this year, Law said the plants really don’t like these hot temperatures.
However Mcinerney said they had better get used to it.
“We’re heating up at three times the global average, he said. “The average daily temperature has risen three degrees,” mainly since the turn of the 21st century.
Those numbers are confirmed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which found that the daily temperatures throughout the United States in 2012 were dramatically hotter than in any other previously recorded year.
“When we look at the long-term it’s only going to get warmer,” Mcinerney said. Meteorologists note that one way to gauge the earth’s warming is by looking at nighttime low temperatures.
“We just don’t get as cold as we used to overnight,” Mcinerney said.
Also, storms coming from the Pacific Northwest are less frequent, but stronger than they used to be. That’s affecting precipitation.
“We’ll be seeing less snow pack as storms change from snow to rain.” Mcinerney said.
While our system of reservoirs have served as well in the past, we may have to think of other ways of saving and using water, he said.
If there’s an upside to this, Mcinerney said we’ll have a longer growing season, and that may help operations like the Black Island Farms.