Chilly weather hits Top of Utah

Feb 2 2011 - 12:24am

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NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner
Wind blows snow over the peak of Mt. Ogden on Tuesday. The National Weather Service issued a high-wind warning for the northern Wasatch Front because of easterly winds at 20-40 mph with gusts approaching 60 mph.
NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner
Wind blows snow over the peak of Mt. Ogden on Tuesday. The National Weather Service issued a high-wind warning for the northern Wasatch Front because of easterly winds at 20-40 mph with gusts approaching 60 mph.

February blew in with one cold day for the Top of Utah.

By 5 p.m. Tuesday, the air outside felt like it was 7 degrees below zero in Weber and Davis counties, thanks to the chilling winds.

Early Tuesday, easterly winds picked up to 25 to 40 miles per hour, and 60 miles per hour during the stronger gusts, along the Northern Wasatch Front, according to the National Weather Service.

It was especially cold in the mountains, where the temperature did not rise above minus 2 degrees at Powder Mountain resort. At 5 p.m., the temperature was minus 10 near the top of Snowbasin ski resort.

Powder Mountain ended up closing its lifts at 11 a.m. for the rest of the day because of 45 to 55 mph winds. And employees and guests of the ski resort were not allowed outside on the mountain Tuesday night because of the cold, Lundin said.

"We had eight inches of fresh snow and blue skies (earlier in the day), but the wind really threw a loop into that," said Patrick Lundin, marketing and public relations manager for Powder Mountain. "We make sure to make the proper calls to keep our guests safe."

Easterly winds are quite abnormal and are typically the only kind that significantly affect the lifts, he said. Powder Mountain is expected to be open for business today.

Snowbasin closed its Strawberry lift, after the lift riders and employees operating the lifts began complaining of frostbite.

Gusty winds also forced some semi-truck drivers to pull over to the side of Interstate 15. Commuters on I-15 were shoved around a bit as well.

The night brought lows near zero as the winds began to let up.

Lows in the Wasatch Mountains were around minus 25 degrees, according to the NWS. The Ogden Rescue Mission pulled out 60 extra beds for the homeless Tuesday night. By 6 p.m., most of them were taken.

The cold temperatures will continue into today with highs near 20 degrees and winds tapering off to 15 to 25 miles per hour. The mountains are expected to have a high around zero to 5 degrees and weaker winds as well.

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