City Creek Nature Notes – Salt Lake City

October 7, 2016

October 7th

Filed under: picnic site 7, Weather — canopus56 @ 4:38 pm

An Afternoon Wasatch Storm

2:00 p.m. Today is a crisp, cold fall day, but the sun warms the soul and all living things. The spirits of walkers going up the canyon are lifted and everyone smiles and greets each other. “What a wonderful day.” “What a perfect day it is.” Sections of the road that were covered with crushed yellow and red leaves on October 5th have almost completely cleared.

On the 5th, it was a different story. While jogging down canyon from mile 2.0, a band of black clouds rushed in from the west. In twenty minutes, the canyon was overcast and bolts of lightening shot horizontally between the clouds. Then the graupel started to fall. Graupel are soft pea-sized snowballs. If re-circulated in a nimbus cloud, they become hail. Next, the graupel turned partially to sleet and then to a heavy downpour of mixed graupel, sleet and freezing rain. A well-placed graupel hit in a tree knocked a leaf off. Going through the lower canyon, the trees are raining leaves and the road, normally a grey slate, is now partially covered completely in a matrix of yellow and red shapes. I leave the canyon soaked, but as I reach home a few minutes later, the sky has cleared and the warming sun is out again. All of this occurs in less than 50 minutes. This is a classic afternoon storm on the Wasatch Front Mountain range.

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