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Another record high set Monday, but cooler temperatures are coming this week

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Another record high set Monday, but cooler temperatures are coming this week

By Carter Williams, KSL.com | Posted - Mar. 8, 2021 at 6:33 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — Another record-high temperature was set in Salt Lake City on Monday, but a storm rolling in this week is about to cool things down.

The National Weather Service reported that it reached 69 degrees Fahrenheit at the Salt Lake City International Airport, snapping the city's previous record high of 68 degrees set in 1972. The city also tied a record Saturday when the temperature at the airport reached 70 degrees.

However, those late spring-like temperatures won't last much longer as a result of a storm system that's forecast to drop highs 20 degrees cooler than they have been past few days along the Wasatch Front. It's also expected to bring some precipitation to the area, but nothing quite like the storms in February.

The temperatures will begin to cool down significantly as a cold front moves through from the West sometime late Monday night or early Tuesday morning. It's being pushed by a storm system off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, said KSL meteorologist Brett Benson.

The initial cold front is expected to bring some showers, but not very much. The National Weather Service projected light snow and rain for areas in northern Utah overnight. It's also expected to produce light snow and rain in northern and central Utah at points on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The agency also tweeted a graphic Monday afternoon showing that the storm could provide as much as 3 to 4 inches of snow in high-elevation areas like Alta, Ben Lomond, the Pavant Mountains, Tony Grove and the western Uintas. Some other high-elevation areas could receive an inch or two between Monday night and Wednesday morning.

The storm off the Pacific Coast is expected to move south toward California before moving east and reaching southern Utah sometime around midweek, Benson added.

The National Weather Service also tweeted Monday that light mountain snow and valley rain is currently forecast from that storm system between Wednesday and Friday. Most of it will be centered around southern and central Utah.

"Once that cold front moves through (Monday night), it just stays unsettled here throughout northern and central Utah for the next couple of days," Benson said. "Then the main part of the storm system comes rolling through on Wednesday. That begins to affect mainly southern Utah, but we could see a couple of showers in northern Utah associated with that, as well."

Thermometers will pick up the more notable impact of the incoming storm system, although it will only push temperatures back to normal for this time of the year.

For instance, Tuesday's high for Salt Lake City drops back down to 48 degrees and will remain in the upper 40s the remainder of the week, according to the National Weather Service. Lows are expected to range between 31 and 37 degrees.

The average maximum high is 52 to 53 degrees with lows 32 to 33 degrees, according to the weather service's climate book for Salt Lake City.

Meanwhile, the agency projects highs in Logan to range from 42 to 45 from Tuesday through Friday. The overnight lows are expected to be in the 20s during those days, with temperatures as cold as 21 degrees on Friday.

Richfield's highs will drop from the upper 60s Monday to a high of 54 Tuesday before falling down to a high of 42 Thursday and Friday, according to the weather service forecast. St. George, on the other hand, will slide from mid-70s Monday to mid-60s Tuesday and mid-50s the remainder of the workweek, the weather service added.

The storm isn't expected to offer anything substantial in terms of closing the precipitation gaps that have grown following the last winter storm. The federal SNOTEL report shows Utah's snowpack has fallen back down to nearly 75% of its average for this time of the year.

The weather service's Salt Lake City station is also back in the negatives for both the 2021 water year and calendar year. Entering Monday, weather service data showed it was 0.26 inches below the normal for this point in the calendar year and 3.33 inches below normal for the water year, which began on Oct. 1, 2020.

For complete seven-day forecasts of locations around Utah, visit the KSL Weather Center page.

A 'relatively dry, relatively warm' winter

Meteorological winter ended on Feb. 28 and the National Weather Service found it to be a "relatively dry, relatively warm" spring. The agency on Saturday released preliminary data recorded in Utah from Dec. 1, 2020, through Feb. 28.

The lowest temperature recorded in Salt Lake City over the three months was 16 degrees, which is the warmest minimum temperature on record for the winter season. The average temperature for Salt Lake City was 33 degrees during the winter season, which was nowhere near the record of 38.3 degrees set between 2014 and 2015. It was, however, above the normal of 31.3 degrees.

The city's 2.94 inches of precipitation during the season was also below the normal of 3.91 inches. That's despite the fact that the city broke a record for most snowfall in February. More than half of the winter snowfall recorded during the season happened in February.

Data shows above-normal temperatures were mostly reported throughout western Utah during the season. For instance, the agency tweeted that Logan's minimum low temperature was 5 degrees, which was "unusual."

Temperatures were slightly below normal in many areas in eastern and southern Utah. Aside from some pockets in northwestern and central Utah, most parts of the state experienced below-normal precipitation.

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