This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
It's still winter, right? Then why does it seem so much like Utah has awakened to a shirt-sleeve, balmy spring, and some four weeks early at that?
According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the official start of spring the arrival of the vernal equinox won't come until 10:57 p.m. Mountain time on March 20.
Tell that to the National Weather Service forecasters. Northern Utahns looked for high temperatures on Wednesday to hover near 60 degrees under cloudy skies. A similar forecast was in place on Tuesday.
Winter was even more of a no-show in southern Utah, where highs were to be in the low-70s under mostly clear skies.
Credit a high pressure system that shifted from the Sierra Nevadas eastward. That same system, after bringing warm and dry days at mid-week for Utah, will feed a moist and windy pattern in the Beehive State toward the end of the week.
The Utah Division of Air Quality forecast "green," or healthy breathing conditions statewide.
The Uintas remained at "high" risk for avalanches in the backcountry, while the Utah Avalanche Center rated as "moderate" the mountains above Logan, Ogden, Provo and Moab.