Last month will go down in the rec-ord books as dry, foggy - and the coldest January in 10 years.
January is usually the coldest month of the year. The average monthly temperature at the Salt Lake International Airport was 22.3 degrees, which is 6.3 degrees below normal, 28.6.January was the coldest month for departures from normal temperatures since February 1985, when average temperatures were 8.5 degrees below normal.
During January 1979 the average monthly temperature was 22.1 degrees at the airport; the average temperature last month was 22.3 degrees. Over the past 30 years, temperatures averaged 28.6 degrees during January, with the record low, 22 degrees below zero, being recorded Jan. 25, 1949.
The average temperature during January 1949 was 11.6 degrees or 17 degrees below normal.
"But believe it or not, there were no daily records set during January at the airport," said William J. Alder, meteorologist in charge of the Salt Lake office of the National Weather Service.
January 1989 was dry, with only .56 of an inch of precipitation being logged. That is 41 percent of the normal amount over 30 years.
Precipitation for the water year that began last Oct. 1 totals 3.36 inches or 66 percent of normal, 5.08 inches. As of Jan. 31, total moisture for the water year was still 1.15 inches below the 4.51 inches recorded by this time last year.
January is usually a rather wet month at the airport. But there has only been one January since 1981 with above normal precipitation, and that was January 1987, when 1.53 inches of moisture was recorded.
During January 1989, there were seven days of heavy fog when visibility was one-quarter mile or less. The normal number is 4. The seasonal total is 9.
With the exception of a few areas in south-central Utah, the majority of the state experienced below to well below normal precipitation. Normal to slightly above normal precipitation was recorded in south-central Utah.
January snowfall in the mountains was below normal. Alta had 70.75 inches; normal is 87 inches. Snowbird had 71 inches; normal is 75.5. Seventy inches is the normal amount for Brighton, which received 60 inches.
In late January the Great Salt Lake finally started its seasonal rise. The lake level was 4,206.50 feet above sea level on Feb. 1, which was 2.85 feet below the level of 4,209.35 feet, the winter low point during 1987. The low point was recorded Dec. 20, 1987, and the high point, 4,209.55 feet, between Feb. 10 and March 26, 1988.