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(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Snow falls in Big Cottonwood Canyon on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011.
Winter weather is on the way in Utah
Cold snap » Freezing temperatures, some snow expected in the mountains of Utah.
First Published Oct 25 2011 03:02 pm • Last Updated Oct 26 2011 09:47 am

If you thought Tuesday was downright chilly, it’s going to get colder.

The cold snap sweeping across Utah is expected to worsen as another front drops into the state from the north bringing with it a lot of cold air, said Glen Merrill, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City.

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"What that’s going to do for us in the north is intensify the cold snap," he said.

That front is expected to push temperatures Wednesday night into early Thursday below the freezing mark in the Salt Lake Valley area and along the Wasatch Front. Parts of Utah like the cities of Price and Castle Dale might actually see some snow. The mountains near Cedar City and to the east, could see 3 to 6 inches of snow, he said.

"Up north we could see some snow showers in the mountains, but accumulations are very, very light, if any," Merrill said.

The good news, however, is despite the overnight freezing temperatures, Salt Lake City temperatures Thursday are expected to reach the 50s and reach almost 60 by the weekend.

Merrill said people should consider preparing for the cooler weather, particularly since it’s been so warm in the proceeding days.

Some of those preparation should include ensuring furnaces and swamp coolers are ready, said Richard Justice, the owner of Esco, of Salt Lake City.

"The first and best thing is to have them [furnaces] inspected," he said. "Beyond that make sure they’ve got a clean filter in them."

His company has been performing a number of inspections since it’s started to get cold, he said.

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He said good inspectors will be able to perform a carbon monoxide check that will ensure a furnace is not producing excessive amounts of the poisonous gas and perform a general safety check to make sure everything is functioning properly. He said inspections should be performed once a year.

For those with swamp coolers, or evaporative coolers, on their roofs, he said people should drain them, so the water inside doesn’t freeze, and then cover the cooler to help prevent drafts.

"They can do it themselves, just don’t fall off the roof," he said.

Donna Emery, manager of Glover Nursery in West Jordan, said her company has seen a lot of people coming in to purchase items to prepare plants for the cold.

"Make sure your plants are well watered before the cold hits," she said. "They actually come through things better if they’re watered."

She recommended people apply a thick layer of mulch to the ground around trees and shrubs, wrap trees to help them buffer them from the freeze-thaw cycle, and cover plants with frost cloth or blankets.

Emery said people should have all winter preparations done by the first hard frost.

"Your plants will already be mulched, will already be wrapped," she said. "Usually it’s just kind of your last hurrah here trying to get things battened down."


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