Cold temperatures are a result of two weather events, NWS says

Feb 17, 2023, 6:30 PM | Updated: 9:08 pm
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The National Weather Service building in Salt Lake City. The NWS says the cold temperatures experienced in Utah this winter are a result of two weather events. (Paul Nelson)
(Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY — The cold temperatures experienced this winter in Utah have resulted from two meteorological events occurring at the same time,  according to the National Weather Service.

“Our two big cold periods did coincide with inversion, high-pressure events,” said Monica Traphagan, of the National Weather Service. “So, what you had in those cases, you had a storm system come through, you had very abnormally cold air. And it stuck around for a little while because the inversion traps that cold air into our valleys.”

Traphagan says the average temperatures for this time of year are in the 40s and 20s.

“Our normal high right now is the mid-40s,” she said. “And our normal low temperature would be in the mid to upper 20s. So, you know those low temperatures that we saw most recently in the upper teens to lower 20s are 10 to 15 degrees below average, which is nothing to sneeze at.”

Record lows for this time of year are even colder than what the state has experienced this winter.

“But our records for these dates tend to run around zero,” Traphagan said.

Another storm and more cold temperatures on the way

The NWS says another snowstorm will arrive in northern Utah this weekend, arriving Saturday night into Sunday morning. It is expected to bring a cold front to the northern Wasatch Front and portions of southwest Wyoming.

Snow accumulations from this storm are expected to be light. However, it will be enough to clear out valley inversions, according to the NWS. 


Thomas Haraldsen contributed to this story.

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Cold temperatures are a result of two weather events, NWS says