Timelapse: Cold but warming on horizon

Wednesday , June 18, 2014 - 3:04 PM

Standard-Examiner staff

Mother Nature opened the ice box on Saturday last week and unleashed cooler temperatures for the past several days. Even though snow fell in the mountains, don’t put those short-sleeve shirts and flip flops away just yet, a warming trend is in the works for the weekend.

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service reported 1.3 inches of rain fell near Echo Dam along the Weber River in the 24-hour storm. Along the other side of the mountains the most rain fell in Brigham City with 1.2 inches of water. Most of Weber and Davis County saw about eight-tenths of an inch, which Syracuse barely saw a tenth of an inch of the melted ice.  

Wednesday will still be much cooler than normal, but expect temperatures to rapidly rise by the weekend reaching a high of nearly 90 degrees in the Ogden area by Saturday.

On Tuesday, the National Weather Service reported heavy rain and cold winds throughout the areas of Weber and Davis counties, and issued a hazardous weather alert. A menacing funnel cloud, brought on by the sudden cold front, hovered over the Willard Bay area at about 11 a.m., the NWS confirmed.

The cloud was not a serious threat for a tornado, according to NWS meteorologist Eric Schoening, who is based out of Salt Lake City.

"It’s a slightly different phenomenon“ than the clouds that touch down frequently in the Midwest, Schoening said. ”These rarely touch the ground.“

Clouds of this type and size are seen only about once a year in Utah, Schoening said. While no real danger existed, he added, it’s normal to grow alarmed at the sight of one.

"It’s a very natural reaction to be concerned when you see a funnel cloud,” he said. “It’s not unreasonable to assume it could be dangerous.”

The NWS warned motorists, meanwhile, that travelling conditions would be significantly affected. 

"An unseasonably cold storm will bring periods of accumulating snow above 8,000 feet across the northern and central mountains,“ according an alert from the agency.

Motorists are advised to drive with caution when traveling up mountain roads. Snow is expected to continue falling in higher elevations for the next few days. 

At lower elevations, thunderstorms are expected to continue throughout Tuesday, winding down Wednesday.

The forecast is a stark contrast to conditions in southern Utah which are still warming up and creating wildfire risks.

The rain is a brief respite for northern Utah firefighters who have been busy with dozens of brush fires due to dry weather. 

Ogden Fire Marshal Kevin Brown said dry conditions will return quickly and firefighters will be back handling the more than usual amount of fires this season.

Contact reporter Andreas Rivera at 801-625-4227 or arivera@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @SE_Andreas.

Reporter Ben Lockhart contributed to this story.

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