By ROBERT S. MERRILL
Even though the Preston area only received 0.12 of an inch of rain during August, there may be hope on the horizon for a wetter fall and “normal” amount of snow this coming winter.
The good news is there is no el Niño or la Niña setting up and so the ultra long-range forecast is calling for normal-to above-normal precipitation, said King Smith, who keeps official weather records for the Preston area for the National Weather Service.
“I have been looking at the maps since January and they have changed from below normal to the normal forecast. Since the mountains need more snow, I hope it turns out to be at least normal,” he said.
“Since 1981 only once have we had three years in a row with below-normal precipitation or snow. So the odds are on our side to get close to normal for this coming winter.”
Smith said the Preston area has been caught outside of rainfall and temperature records.
“What a difference a hundred miles makes. To the north of us, Pocatello and Idaho Falls set temperature and precipitation records,” he said. “To the south, Salt Lake City set temperature records for the season and the month.”
Smith said the Preston area was not even close to any records.
“The monthly average for the high temperature was 89.6 degrees and the long-term average is 86.4. It ranks about 15th on the monthly-average record scale. The old record was 90.4 degrees and was set back in 1994.
“The low for the month averaged 56.4 degrees and the 30-year average is 51.4. We may have set an official record here, but I have not been notified yet. The old record is 53.4 in 1976. We’ll have to see,” he said.
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