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Salt Lake City's 142-year-old cold temperature record snapped Monday

A man walks in the snow with his dogs at Sugar House Park in Salt Lake City on Oct. 25, 2020.

(Yukai Peng, KSL)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Talk about Octobrr.

The temperature at the Salt Lake City International Airport dropped to 19 degrees Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service. That reading snapped the record for coldest Oct. 26 below the city's record of 22 degrees set 142 years ago in 1878.

Cold temperatures were also reported throughout the state as a result of weather patterns that came through Utah over the weekend. It produced snow along the Wasatch Front Sunday morning. Bountiful received 5.5 inches while Salt Lake City received an inch of snow.

Snow falls in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. The city officially received an inch of snow Sunday but some parts of the Wasatch Front received multiple inches.
Snow falls in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. The city officially received an inch of snow Sunday but some parts of the Wasatch Front received multiple inches. (Photo: Carter Williams,

Eastern winds started picking up late Sunday into Monday along the northern parts of the Wasatch Front; those winds were expected to dissipate by noon Monday.

Nevertheless, temperatures dropped to below zero or single digits in some places within northern Utah and Wasatch Back. Randolph, Rich County reached -9 degrees Monday, which broke the previous record of 6 degrees set in 2012. The temperature at Deer Creek Dam in Wasatch County fell to 5 degrees; the previous record there was 16 degrees set in 1945.

New low-temperature records were also set at Silver Lake-Brighton (1 degree) and Capitol Reef National Park (18 degrees). There were single digits Monday morning in places like Alta and Kimball Junction, KSL meteorologist Grant Weyman noted. Due to the blowing winds, wind chill temperatures were lower than the actual temperatures recorded.

"Full-on winter — treat it like a mid-January day," Weyman said. "That's how cold it is this morning."

The storm also produced snow in southeastern Utah as it moved through Sunday night into Monday morning. Arches National Park officials tweeted that the park road was closed Monday morning due to wintery weather. It reopened Monday afternoon.

The highs Monday were forecast to be in the mid-30s to low-40s along the Wasatch Front and northern Utah. The predicted highs in southern Utah range from 22 degrees in Monticello to 51 degrees in St. George.

The cold weather is a full reversal of the month so far. According to National Weather Service data, the preliminary average temperature of October 2020 was 59.2 degrees through Sunday. That's about 5 degrees above average for the time of the year.

The city dropped to the freezing point for the first time this season Friday, the agency noted. It was just four days after the average first freeze, which is Oct. 19. The temperature at the airport has ranged this month from a low of 20 degrees Monday morning to a high of 85 degrees on Oct. 10.

For those looking for warmer temperatures, they are on the way. High temperatures across the Wasatch Front are expected to return to the mid-60s by Halloween. St. George is expected to have highs in the 70s by then, as well.

Visit the KSL Weather Center here for a full 7-day weather forecast throughout Utah.

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Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter who covers general news, outdoors, history and sports for He previously worked for the Deseret News. He is a Utah transplant by the way of Rochester, New York.


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