Scientists say weather patterns will be more stormy and unpredictable with climate change. But a switcheroo of states?
That’s what’s happened to Maine and Utah this May.
Most of Utah has received at least twice its usual May precipitation of two inches. Some towns are going on four times their monthly average, coming close to half the state’s annual average of 18 inches in just one month.
Today will likely set a record for most consecutive days with rain, according to the National Weather Service. 18 dreary ones, often punctuated by hail.
Meanwhile, Maine’s usually rainy May (four inch average) is nowhere to be found.
The state has had high fire danger, sunny warmth, and less than an inch of rain. When I visited earlier this month, I was prepared for the Mud Season I know and do not love. Instead the weather was lovely. The rivers were uncharacteristically low. I didn’t even need bug repellent. It was shocking to see only a few No See Ums and mosquitoes.
I returned to snow and hazardous conditions on the Wyoming stretch of Interstate
80 and seemingly a never-ending cycle of rain storms at home in northern Utah. Needless to say, the fire danger here was very low. Hot Shot crews have been relegated to maintenance work.
Mike Mumford, an avid rider and manager at Redmond, Inc, said it’s been too mucky to ride. “It’s the muddiest and wettest I’ve ever known it to be,” said the Salt Lake resident and former Olympian.
“The muck can be a foot to 16 inches deep in the paddocks,” he said.
At higher elevations, the snow pack is deeper than it was in January and February. Avalanche warnings have been issued.
With the constant specter of drought, no one’s complaining much. Most folks just seem happy they don’t live in Texas.
Still, the funny state weather swap makes one wonder what’s next. Oh, the upcoming local forecast? 90 degrees and sunny. That’s not normal either. Check out the road trip and more images on UtahOutsider’s facebook page.