When will this bone-chilling weather end?
According to the Salt Lake office of the National Weather Service, relief should come Saturday, when a "balmy" daytime high of 39 degrees — along with snow — is predicted.
The last time Salt Lake International Airport inched above freezing was a week ago, when the thermometer registered 35 degrees Dec. 4.
Meanwhile, Friday will begin with a morning low around 12 degrees, followed by a daytime high reaching 29 degrees. Saturday's morning low will dip to 21 degrees, with a 40 percent chance of snow.
And snow might be just what Salt Lake and Davis counties need to clear the air and remove the red air-quality alert issued for Friday, Utah Department of Environmental Quality officials said.
A red alert prohibits residents from burning wood or coal, and sensitive people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children are warned to cut back on spending time outdoors.
"We could be in red for a few days," said Bo Call, state air monitoring center manager. "It all depends on the weather and inversion."
Four record overnight low temperatures were set in Utah Thursday morning. Bountiful-Val Verda was just 4 degrees, shattering its 11-degree record set in 2005. The Hite ranger station was a record 12, Hanksville shivered at -11, and Randolph was a frigid -17.
Although not a record, the coldest recorded temperature in Utah on Thursday was at the Manti radio station site, at -26 degrees.
KSL meteorologist Dan Pope said this week's combination of cold temperatures in the teens with snowfall is somewhat rare along the Wasatch Front. He recalled that the last time that happened, before the series of storms that pounded Utah starting Saturday, may have been in 1993.
Once again, he said, that happened when cold arctic air was overrun by Pacific moisture.
"Those temperatures for snowfall are much more like Alaska, Canada or even Montana and Wyoming," he said.
This weekend's storm should bring more normal temperatures in the mid-20s or even in the 30s. The extended forecast calls for a 60 percent chance of snow Sunday, with the high reaching 38 degrees.
There's also a chance of snow Monday and Tuesday, but temperatures will remain in the mid-30s in the day and the low 20s at night.
Contributing: Lana Groves
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