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Utah forecast: Wasatch Front, other mountain regions in deep freeze

Published January 3, 2013 10:20 am

Air quality • "Red" alert for Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Cache and Utah counties.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It's so cold . . . that Utah's squirrels just might toss themselves onto electric fences for a brief, if catastrophic, warmup — when they aren't clearing out those stored nuts to make room for Sterno.

Once again, overnight lows are making sub-freezing temperatures look like a tropical vacation compared to the numerous sub-zero readings recorded throughout the state. Much of northern Utah has been in the single digits this week so far, with some of the coldest places Thursday morning including Bryce Canyon at -17, Cedar City -9, Moab -8, Logan -6 and Vernal at -4 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Indeed, lows early Friday were expected to be just as cold as they were on Thursday throughout northern Utah, ranging from below-zero to the low-teens. High temperatures will warm only into the upper-20s. Among the coldest sites predicted were Duchesne, Bryce Canyon, Randolph and Richfield at -10. Vernal was to dip to -9, Delta -6 and Heber -2.

Southern Utah expected lows in the mid- to upper-20s and highs on Friday in the low- to mid-40s, but winds of 20-30 mph will negate much of that with wind chills making the daylight hours feel 10 to 15 degrees cooler.

Utah's continuing winter air inversion was keeping air quality in the "Red," or unhealthy zone in Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Cache and Utah counties for Friday, while Box Elder, Tooele and Uintah counties were placed in the "Yellow," or compromised breathability category. Only eastern Utah's Duchesne County earned a "Green," or healthy air quality grade.

The Utah Avalanche Center warned of "moderate" risks for dangerous snow slides Friday for the mountains near Salt Lake, Ogden, Provo and Moab.

Salt Lake City looked for a low of 10 degrees early Friday and a daytime high of 28, up 2 degrees from Thursday's forecast; Ogden expected 8, 25 and 23 degrees, respectively; Provo 5, 26 and 25; Logan -6, 13 and 12; Wendover -2, 16 and 14; Duchesne -10, 16 and 13; Cedar City 0, 32 and 27; St. George 24, 45 and 44; and Moab 1, 19 and 17 degrees.

remims@sltrib.com