Emergency service calls go up as Ogden temps drop below average

Jan 15 2013 - 7:15am

Images

Icicles hang along Sharon Pearson’s mail route Monday, January 14, 2013, in Ogden. Temperatures have dipped below zero in the past week. (NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner)
Dressed for the single-digit temperatures and minus 1
wind chill, Bruce Thackery shovels snow with icicles hanging on his workplace behind him in the Business Depot Ogden on Monday, January 14, 2013. (ROBERT JOHNSON/Standard-Examiner)
Icicles hang from the back of a store on Washington Boulevard in Ogden on Monday, January 14, 2013.  (KERA WILLIAMS/Standard-Examiner)
Icicles hang along Sharon Pearson’s mail route Monday, January 14, 2013, in Ogden. Temperatures have dipped below zero in the past week. (NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner)
Dressed for the single-digit temperatures and minus 1
wind chill, Bruce Thackery shovels snow with icicles hanging on his workplace behind him in the Business Depot Ogden on Monday, January 14, 2013. (ROBERT JOHNSON/Standard-Examiner)
Icicles hang from the back of a store on Washington Boulevard in Ogden on Monday, January 14, 2013.  (KERA WILLIAMS/Standard-Examiner)

OGDEN -- The last time it was this cold, George Bush was president -- George Bush Sr., that is.

On Monday, the low temperature reached 5 degrees below zero in Ogden -- although the number varied by a few degrees, depending on where the temperature was recorded.

According to Weather Underground, a commercial weather service that provides real-time weather information on the Internet, the last time Ogden temperatures were that low was Dec. 23, 1990, when temperatures reached minus 12 degrees.

According to data from the National Weather Service, Ogden's average high temperature in January between 1981 and 2010 has typically been 37 degrees.

This year, two weeks into the month, average high temperatures are at 21 degrees, which is usually the average low temperature for January.

National Weather Service hydrologist Brian McInerney said temperatures in January have been below average every day, expect for one.

According to the NWS, the lowest temperature recorded in Ogden city was minus 16 degrees, on Jan. 26, 1949.

McInerney said the last time temperatures fell below zero was in 2008.

Temperatures, he said, fell as low as 46 degrees below zero at a weather station in the mountains of Logan.

While the subzero temperatures are expected to let up, it's going to stay cold for the immediate future, McInerney said.

"Unfortunately, it's not going to get much warmer anytime soon."

The National Weather Service forecast calls for highs in the low 20s and lows in the single digits for the next five days.

McInerney said high pressure will create another inversion during that time period as well.

During such extreme weather, pipes are at a high risk of freezing, especially if homes aren't adequately heated.

Ben Henry, who owns and operates Ben Henry Heating & Air Conditioning, said his service calls have gone up as temperatures have gone down.

"They've gone way up," he said. "And almost every call has been an emergency call. With these temperatures, your pipes will freeze overnight if you're not careful."

Henry said when temperatures are as cold as they've been during the last few days, it's important to keep your home adequately heated, and the best way to keep pipes from freezing is to let cold water constantly run from your faucets at a drip.

Farmington and Kaysville cities have both issued public alerts, urging citizens to keep their faucets at a slow drip in order to avoid frozen or bursting pipes.

Utah Department of Transportation spokesman Vic Saunders said black ice on the roads is also a danger when temperatures get so low.

Motorists should drive more defensively, at a slower speed and increase their following distance, he said.

Saunders also said bridges and overpasses tend to retain ice because of the air flow over and around them.

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