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Numerous Utah temperature records shattered by cold
For Utah's weekend forecast, here's what to know: first came the ice, now comes the snow.
Along the Wasatch Front, temperatures were to warm slightly from a week-long spate of record-setting, sub-freezing and, in places, sub-zero readings. Saturday's forecast called for highs in the mid-20s with overnight lows in the mid-teens — a 5-7 degree swing upward for both highs and lows from Friday.
Southern Utah, too, expected temperatures a bit warmer on Saturday, when highs were expected to reach the upper-30s, up from Friday's mid-30s. Overnight lows in the mid-20s were predicted.
What the National Weather Service described as a "moderate" snowstorm should hit the entire state over the weekend, however. Forecasters issued a Winter Storm Watch for Utah north to south Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon.
Snowfall of 2-7 inches was expected in the state's northern urban valleys, with up to 20 inches in the northern and central mountains. Even Utah's Dixie looked for a blanket of up to 3 inches, with 10-20 inches in the southern mountains.
In the Salt Lake Valley, snowfall was expected to begin late Friday and continue off-and-on through the weekend.
Winds of 10-20 mph throughout the region could cause drifting, making travel — especially in mountain passes — treacherous.
The Utah Avalanche Center's initial risk ratings for potentially deadly backcountry snowslides were "moderate" for the state's mountains except for the Uintas, which were graded at "considerable."
Meantime, the NWS noted numerous record-low temperatures once Thursday's reports were tallied. Escalante's 1-degree reading beat a 2-degree mark set for the state in 1931; Provo's 1 blew away a 2005 reading of 12; Spanish Fork tied its 3-degree mark of 1955; Cedar City's 5 bettered the 18 of 1972; A 13 in Milford was well below a 23-degree record set in 1972; and Price, coming in at a frigid 1, broke a 4-degree 2005 mark.
Other cities recorded new marks for lowest daytime highs on Thursday: Brigham City hit 22, down from a 1972 record of 25 degrees; Fillmore 11 (22, 1972); Provo 17 (29, 1998); Spanish Fork 17 (22, 1972); Zion National Park 36 (39, 1953); Utah Test and Training Range 20 (24, 2004); Milford 9 (18, 1972); and Price 20 (27, 2005).