Nobody needed to tell Alta Lodge General Manager Cliff Curry that temperatures across Utah were reaching record readings Monday.
He could tell just by looking out the door.
"It feels like a beautiful day in the middle of May," he said. "The skiing was great for the first couple of hours Sunday until the sun got to the snow. We are looking at probably an early start to our summer season if these temperatures keep up."
The high temperature at Salt Lake City International Airport on Monday hit 88 degrees. That broke the record of 85 set in 1934 and flirted with the all-time high of 89 for the entire month of April, set on April 28, 2007. The normal high and low temperatures for April 23 are 61 and 41 degrees, respectively.
The heat wave could continue into Tuesday.
"It is still going to be quite warm," said Eric Schoening, a forecaster for the National Weather Service office in Salt Lake City. "We could approach or exceed record highs again Tuesday. The [record] high for that day is 85, and we are forecasting 85 for a high."
The cause of our unseasonably warm weather is a strong high pressure that has set up across the West and centered directly over Utah.
"We are far enough into spring and the sun is high enough in the sky that they are mixing quite well, creating warm temperatures down here in the valley," said Schoening.
Record high temperatures were set or tied in 12 locations throughout Utah.
The weather service issued a hazardous weather alert for much of the state, warning that waterways will see a rise in swift-moving cold water due to spring snowmelt. Parents are urged to keep children and pets at a safe distance from rapidly flowing streams.
If prognosticators are correct, the warm weather will hang around until Wednesday, when the high is expected to be around 80 in Salt Lake City. Thunderstorms are expected to move into the state Thursday and that should drop Salt Lake City's high temperature to around 57 degrees. Lows could drop to 40 by Friday night.
The weekend looks to offer near normal temperatures in northern Utah: 61 on Saturday and 65 on Sunday with partly cloudy skies. St. George is expected to warm to around 80 degrees for the weekend, while Moab should see a high of 76 by Sunday.
LaRene Bauntner, owner of Millcreek Gardens in Salt Lake County, said the warm weather has boosted business. She was warning customers against being lulled into a false sense of security when planting flowers and vegetables because they could be threatened if the temperature dips below 35.
Flowers such as pansies and petunias, along with such perennials as poppies, peonies and Shasta daisies should be fine if planted now.
"We are selling a ton of vegetable starts," said Bauntner. "We even ran out of zucchini plants Sunday. But we tell our customers that if gets to be below 35 degrees, you have to cover the plants."
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Record highs around the state
Alpine 85° 83° 1987
Alta 67° 62° 1977
Cedar City airport 86° 82° 1949
Duchesne 82° (tied) 82° 1943
Hanksville 97° 89° 1936
Price 87° 78° 1987
Provo BYU 88° 85° 1930
Richfield 86° (tied) 86° 1949
Salt Lake City airport 88° 85° 1934
Spanish Fork 87° (tied) 87° 1934
Tooele 86° 82° 1949
Zion National Park 97° 93° 1949