TEMPERATURE – There are definite variations in temperature with altitude and with latitude. Naturally, the mountains and the elevated valleys have the cooler climates, with the lower areas of the State having the higher temperatures. There is about a 3° F decrease in mean annual temperature for each 1,000-foot increase in altitude, and approximately 1.5 to 2° F decrease in average yearly temperature for each one degree increase in latitude. Thus, weather stations in the southern counties generally have average annual temperatures 6 to 8 degrees higher than those at similar altitudes over the northern counties.
Temperatures below zero during winter and early spring are uncommon in most areas of the State, and prolonged periods of extremely cold weather are rare. This is primarily due to the mountains east and north of the State, which act as a barrier to intensely cold continental Artic air masses. The lowest temperature of record is 50° F below zero.
Utah experiences relatively strong insolation during the day and rapid nocturnal cooling, resulting in wide daily ranges in temperature. Even after the hottest days, nights are usually cool over the State.