SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Gov. Spencer Cox recently gave his State of the State address, but it’s obvious he didn’t know that Utah would find itself in such an icy grip after his talk. Since the 19th of January, few locations in the state have made it to normal average temperatures, and it looks like this will continue for a little bit longer.
Salt Lake City has spent four of the last five days well below the normal mark, averaging over 4 degrees below the daily average. On the only day when the temperature is above the normal level, it was only 0.5 degrees above normal. An average of a little over 4 degrees below normal might not seem that bad, but hear this — the first 18 days of January saw the city at 9.9 degrees over the average, and we’re talking about a 15-degree swing. Couple that with the wind we’ve experienced the last few days, and the chilly weather just became even cooler.
The cool weather has affected most of the state. Areas like Duchesne and Uinta Counties have been really struggling with temperatures well below normal. Even St. George has seen its share of the cold weather, spending 6 straight days below normal, and that 7th day was only 0.1 degree above normal. St. Geroge’s swing hasn’t been quite as dramatic as Salt Lake’s, but it’s still enough that they can certainly feel it. Heavy winds and even some snowfall in the southern city have helped to make it feel very cold.
The good news is that we do expect to see some warming in the weather, but the bad news is that it won’t come for a little while. St. George could finally be back in the 50’s over the weekend, but the temps look to dip going into the next work week. Things aren’t any better up north where Salt Lake City is set to be in the mid 30’s over the weekend before dipping back below freezing for high temps.
This is all due to a northwesterly flow that continues to pump the cold air into the state. It’s also the cause of the inversions that are cropping up. Where the really cold weather in Duchesne and Unita Counties resides, the air quality has really taken a hit. Much of this past week has found them sitting in the “Unsafe For Sensitive Groups” designation and could creep up even worse. Along the Wasatch Front, we’ve been lucky to have a few weeks of storm fronts to keep things fairly clear, but that will be going away soon, and inversion conditions should appear before the end of the week.
We are looking at another disturbance coming into the weekend, but a lot will depend on the next few days to give us the severity of what it will bring. Right now, we could have anywhere from 2″ to 2′ in the mountains through Monday, and we’ll see what happens in the valleys. We’ll update all this coming storm soon to give you the most accurate information.
But know that the cold weather is going to stay with us for a bit so be sure to stay warm and look after any neighbors who you feel might need a little check-in. And as a last little shot… remember the record-breaking number of days over 100 degrees we had over the summer? Utah sure likes to give us all seasons to the fullest.