As weather in Utah continues to reach low temps, the coldest location recorded today Jan. 30, 2023 was Peter Sinks.
Located in the Bear River Mountains east of Logan, Peter Sinks hit -62 F at approximately 8:30 a.m. Monday. The sinkhole is one of the coldest places in the lower 48 states. It is so cold that at the bottom of the hole, there aren’t any trees grown.
There is an automated weather station that updates Utah State University Climate Center on the temperatures at Peter Sinks.
“We can add this to ‘achievements unlocked’ as the coldest temperature in Utah recorded with an automated and transmitting weather station,” said Timothy E. Wright, a professional meteorologist.
However, this is not an all-time low for Peter Sinks. On Feb. 1, 1985, the temperature plummeted to -69.3 F, which is the second coldest temp recorded in the lower 48 states.
So what causes Peter Sinks to reach such cold temperatures?
“The low temperatures are due to a combination of the area’s unique basin topography, high elevation, and dry climate,” the Utah State University Climate Control Website stated. “One can liken it to a large bowl, which has no valley outlet to drain water or air… Cool dense air slides down-slope into the basin floor in a process known as cold air pooling. Extremely low temperatures can occur, especially in the wake of wintertime arctic fronts.”
Peter Sinks is a sinkhole, approximately one-half mile in diameter, and sits at an elevation of 8,164 feet. So, what is a sinkhole? According to National Geographic, a sinkhole is a hole in the ground that forms when water dissolves the surface rock. It is often limestone, such as in the case of Peter Sinks.
For more updates on Peter Sinks, check out U.S.U. Climate Center website for frequent updates, or follow Timothy E. Wright on Twitter.