Summer Storms vs. Autumn Storms

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Today we had our first true Autumn storm in the Salt Lake Area, and it got me thinking: What is the diffference between summer and autumn rainstorms?

The main difference that I see is how they come into the valley. They sound and look completely different.

Summer storms have a distinct pattern when they come into the valley. They begin with a hard blowing wind that reaches gusts up to 60 mph. This is followed by gray fluffy clouds with very dark gray centers, and a sweet smell of water in the air. When you are in a climate with 20% to 40% humidity, moisture in the air is a wonderful smell. Finally, huge rain drops fall, leaving circles on the windshield at least the size of a quarter. After the hard rain, smaller drops begin to fall until the rain is so light you hardly notice it. Once the rain stops, it takes between 15 to 30 minutes for the sidewalk to dry.

Contrast that with an autumn storm. The storm comes in with a blast of cold air, though not has hard as a summer storm. Generaly it blows up to 40 mph. Then, the rain falls hard, fast, and cold. the sky is a very dark gray to deep violet. The rain is more sustained, and smaller than your typical summer storm. It also lasts much longer than a summer storm. When the rain stops the water remains on the ground for an hour at least, if not longer.