While temperatures are expected to continue to moderate by the weekend, no real changes are expected in Utah's weather through at least mid-February.
That was the forecast Wednesday from meteorologist William J. Alder of the Salt Lake office of the National Weather Service, where figures on record-breaking cold temperatures continue to be gathered from throughout the state.Alder said he tabulated 25 all-time or February record low temperatures on Feb. 6 or 7.
Woodruff in Rich County and Roosevelt, Duchesne County, both recorded minus 40-degree readings. But those and other frigid-cold readings are mild, considering the harsh winter residents are enduring in Idaho, Montana and Colorado.
Some areas are not only gripped by cold temperatures but are continuing to receive drifting, blowing snow.
Tuesday in Idaho, Army National Guard troops arrived in eastern Clark County, where a week of blizzard conditions and sub-zero temperatures have killed thousands of sheep and cattle. Much of the work was concentrated around ranches where livestock had not been seen since the cold and high winds began last week.
There were reports of homeless people being turned away from overflowing shelters in Las Vegas, which on Tuesday had its coldest February day ever with a lowof 16 degrees. Ice formed in the fountains at Caesars Palace.
In Reno more than 400 people crowded into shelters to escape record lows of 16 below zero.
In Utah, where residents were still trying to dig out from recent storms, below-zero temperatures were recorded in numerous places Wednesday. Woodruff, Rich County, and Roosevelt, Duchesne County, had minus 40-degree readings. Providence, Cache County; Delta and Meadow in Millard County, and Providence, Cache County, all recorded 24 below; and Ogden and Hill Air Force Base, minus 4 and minus 2, respectively.
In Milford it was 21 below zero Wednesday. That was the coldest Feb. 8 on record, with the previous record of 14 below in 1949.
It was 32 below Tuesday at Bryce Canyon Airport. That tied the all-time low temperature in January 1963.
Green River, Emery County, broke its February monthly record with 22 below zero. Previously, it was 19 below in 1979.
Other areas where records were broken, with the Tuesday low and previous record: Delta, minus 27, previously minus 25 in December 1940 and January 1971; Lewiston, minus 38, previous record was 36 in 1933; Highland Park area of Salt Lake City, minus 7, previously minus 5 in 1982 and 1955; Hill Air Force Base, minus 6, tied for coldest February day, also in 1942; Monticello, minus 19, tied for coldest reading ever in February, also in 1985; Coalville, minus 33, tied for all-time record, also in February 1982; Milford, minus 29, all-time record for February, previously 27 below zero in February 1949.
Also, Richfield, minus 33 on Feb. 6 and 7, which broke all-time record of 31 below zero in December 1972; Vernal, 38 below, tied for record set in January 1952; Smith-field, minus 34 on Feb. 6 and 7, breaking the previous February of 32 in 1985.> It was 8 below zero Tuesday in Holladay. That was the coldest temperature in that area since at least 1969. It was minus 1 degree in February 1985, Alder said.> The 7-below reading at the airport Wednesday was the coldest Feb. 8 on record. That temperature was also recorded Feb. 8, 1936.
Alder said a low-pressure system off the West Coast will drift slowly inland to Utah and other Great Basin states by the weekend. That pattern will join with a storm system moving in from the north. New snowfall was forecast for some areas of southern Utah Wednesday, but increasing amounts of snow are forecast for Thursday.
Northern Utah could also receive new snow by Thursday, Alder said.
Occasional snow will likely fall throughout the state by Friday and the weekend, Alder said.
An Amtrak train, headed for Utah, was five hours behind schedule and was delayed somewhere in Nevada.>
Woodruff, Rich County -40
Roosevelt, Duchesne -40
Randolph, Rich -36
Green River -18
Cedar City -12
South Jordon -9
Hill Air Force Base -2