"The wind will switch to the north and get gusty and you will see a 15-degree drop in temperatures on average. We are going to go from highs around 80 to highs in the mid- to upper-60s."
He expects conditions to be cool and pleasant for football games Thursday at the University of Utah and Friday at Brigham Young University, with lows falling into the 50s toward the end of the games.
"I've seen a lot worse this time of year," he said.
The cooler temps are a reminder that homeowners should begin thinking about preparing homes and yards for winter, harvesting remaining home garden crops, and checking heating and sprinkling conditions.
Merrill said temperatures could drop to freezing in the Cache Valley and the Wasatch Back this week, but he expects Salt Lake area temperatures to dip only into the mid-40s this week.
"Quite frankly, with the pattern we are in, it's going to be quite dry for at least a few more weeks," he predicted.
Forecasters are calling for a high of 78 degrees on Tuesday in Salt Lake City, and 65 on Wednesday. Lows will dip to around 41. St. George should see highs from the mid-80s to 90, and lows around 60 much of the week. Moab temperatures will hover around 80 on Thursday and Friday with lows near 50. No precipitation is expected around the state, though winds could kick up.
Declining temperatures and daylight means homeowners can cut back significantly on watering lawns, or even stop. A weekly lawn watering guide can be found at www.conservewater.utah.gov or at www.Slowtheflow.org. At this point in the year, for example, no watering is recommended for most of the Wasatch Front.
Homeowners should also think about winterizing sprinkling systems. Many companies were so busy Monday they were asking potential customers to leave messages instead of answering the phone directly.
Kent Bennett of Kent's Sprinkler Repair in Taylorsville said homeowners should drain their systems, turn up the water a bit and then open the valves slightly to minimize pressure in the system. The idea is to blow as much water as possible out of the pipes so there aren't leaks or other problems when they are turned on in the spring.