Record-breaking temperatures continued to plague the state Monday as frigid weather burst water pipes, tripped fire alarms and caused a multitude of other weather-related problems.
Just one temperature sample - 44 degrees below zero early Monday at North Farm, located five miles southwest of Utah State University in Cache Valley - was a clear indication of the cold temperatures socking the Beehive State.Just a year ago Monday the temperature climbed to 43, while the low was what many would now say was a balmy 21 degrees.
In Salt Lake City alone, five record-low minimum temperatures have been broken since the cold spell moved into Utah Dec. 21 - and not much relief was in sight Monday.
But a very weak storm impulse on Christmas Day and a little stronger system on Wednesday could mean a little change in the weather, William J. Alder, meteorologist in charge of the Salt Lake office of the National Weather Service, said Monday.
Although weak, the Wednesday storm impulse will probably bring some clouds and a few mountain snow showers. Temperatures should moderate a little each day but still will be below normal, Alder said.
Sunday, it was 9 degrees above zero at the Salt Lake International Airport. That was the lowest high temperature for Dec. 23. Previously, the rec-ord was 16 degrees in 1983. At the airport, the record-low minimum temperature also was broken. It was minus 11 degrees, breaking the record of 2 degrees below zero on Dec. 23, 1930.
On Sunday, Delta, Tooele and Wendover had the coldest temperatures ever recorded. It was minus-30 degrees in Delta, where the previous record was minus 27 on Feb. 7, 1939. Tooele had a minus 16. The previous record there was minus 13 degrees on Jan. 12, 1963, and Wendover had a minus 18. Wendover's previous record was a minus 16 on Jan. 18, 1984.
Sunday, the highest temperature in the state was 27 degrees at Zion National Park and St. George. But the temperature dropped to 5 degrees Monday in St. George, said meteorologist intern Ray Collins.
For the past three days no area has recorded above-freezing temperatures, Alder said.
A number of records were broken early Monday, according to forecaster Jim Pringle. The temperature dropped to minus 34 in Roosevelt (previous record data unavailable) and to 25 degrees below zero in Vernal. It was a minus 33 in Milford, arecord for this date. It was minus 12 degrees on Dec. 24, 1984. In Logan the thermometer dropped to 26 below zero, breaking a record of minus 8 in 1963. Provo recorded minus 12 degrees, breaking the old record of 1 below zero in 1967. Spanish Fork reported minus 11 degrees, which shattered a 1-degree below zero reading on Dec. 24, 1974.
Salt Lake City was minus 7. It was minus 3 in 1930, while St. George recorded a mere 10 degrees above zero, which was 3 degrees lower than the record set Dec. 14, 1930.
Scores of Utahns were left without running water and numerous fire alarms were activated when waterlines to indoor sprinkler systems snapped as the state tied or broke scores of records for low temperatures on Sunday.
A Salt Lake City Fire Department dispatcher said fire crews responded to a number of broken waterlines Sunday and early Monday throughout the city.
Firefighters worked for an hour Sunday to secure a waterline that burst above the ceiling at a Smith's supermarket at 430 E. Sixth Ave.
The pipe, which burst about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, caused water to seep through the floor and damage several businesses underneath the grocery store, according to fire officials.
Tony Williams, a Salt Lake City Water Department field supervisor, said utility crews have been swamped with 400 to 500 distress calls from homes and business because of the cold in the past two days. The calls are mainly because of frozen waterlines and flooding, Williams said.
He said workmen in 10 crews responded to 150 to 200 calls on Sunday alone, and utility department repairmen were still working early Monday to reach about a 6-inch broken waterline buried about 42 inches underground at Main Street and 800 South.
"We've been working since about 10 last night. It is difficult to get to the main line. We have to use a hydro-hammer to break through the asphalt and frozen ground. We've had four people out working on the problem," Williams said.
North Farm, Cache -44
Cedar City -20
South Jordan -14
Green River -11
Salt Lake City -7
St. George +5