Cold weather expected for Utah through Tuesday

Cold weather expected for Utah through Tuesday

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- It's cold out there and won't get much warmer until Tuesday.

Frigid temperatures, patchy fog and haze are expected to dominate Utah's weather through Christmas weekend.

The National Weather Service says it was as cold as 13-below Christmas Eve at Canyonlands National Park.

Mountain valleys are dipping into the teens, but the weekend is expected to stay sunny.

Tuesday will bring the best chance for temperatures rising above freezing, along with a chance for some mountain snow.

Until then, "it's going to turn cold," Weather Service meteorologist Steve Orgowski told the Standard-Examiner of Ogden.

In northern Utah, where it can always get cold, 85 houses are getting new furnaces, windows and extra insulation at no cost to qualifying owners under a weatherization program that got a big boost in federal funding.

The program operates in Weber, Davis and Morgan counties with a crew of 14 -- four more are being hired -- and a $2.3 million budget for 2010, up from $850,000, said Ian Spangenberg of the Tri-County Weatherization Assistance Program.

At Utah's ski areas, holiday crowds are hitting the slopes, where a storm about 10 days ago left up to 4 feet of snow.

"It definitely got the word out," Snowbird spokesman Jared Ishkanian told The Associated Press on Friday. "That made a drastic difference in ski conditions and the terrain we were able to open."

All of Snowbird's lifts should be running by Saturday.

Relief workers, meanwhile, say homeless people are seeking shelter and warm meals from Salt Lake City to southern Utah's St. George, where overnight temperatures are plunging into the low 20s.

"There is more of a need now than I have ever seen," Rich Rivera, a volunteer at the St. George Soup Kitchen, told The Spectrum of St. George. "Sometimes, it's the only warm meal they get. If you're living on the street, there are no hot meals."

One bright spot: the incidence of swine flu has been dropping since the middle of October, and Utah has plenty of vaccine. state Health Department officials told the Daily Herald of Provo.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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