Salt Lake City is growing rapidly, and many people are moving to the city to live in a place that ranks highly on Best Places to Live lists. A quick visit, however, is not enough to understand SLC’s unique weather. There’s always something to do, from skiing in the winter to hiking in the summer.
Here are five facts about Salt Lake City weather.
1. Variable Temperatures
Cities on the coasts typically feature relatively stable weather. The Great Lakes also mediate temperatures in cities that border them. This capital city, however, has weather moderated only by the Great Salt Lake, and temperatures fluctuate considerably. Highs of over 100 degrees are not uncommon, and the temperature can remain below freezing through parts of winter.
2. Semi-Arid Conditions
While it does not feature the desert-like conditions of other cities in the Western United States, SLC still receives fairly little rainfall during the year. Residents can expect long stretches of time without rain, and its humidity is fairly low. Those who come from other portions of the United States may be surprised at how noticeable this low humidity is.
3. Warm Winters
While many from the Sun Belt scoff at the notion that Salt Lake is warm in the winter, temperatures rarely drop below zero degrees. At this elevation and latitude, its temperature is far warmer than many would predict. Cold air masses often come from northern latitudes in Canada, but the Rocky Mountains tend to block much of this cold air. Because of northern Utah’s mountain snow, Utah is known for some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world.
4. Fog and Haze
Dry cities are rarely foggy; Salt Lake City, however, is an exception. A phenomenon called an inversion occurs often, which causes the nearly air to, essential, flip upside down. As a result, cloud-like conditions drop to ground level and cause foggy conditions. This fog can persist and transform into haze during the day. Pollutants often get trapped and make this haze even stronger. Those from foggy cities, however, will find the fog to be relatively mild.
5. Four Seasons
Many areas of the United States do not truly feature four true seasons. The Southeast, for example, has a long warm season followed by a cool winter, and parts of California seem to defy traditional seasons. Northern Utah, on the other hand, has four distinct seasons that many residents enjoy.
Salt Lake City is consistently lauded as a great place for families. Before moving, however, it helps to know what one will be dealing with. By having realistic expectations of the city’s weather, new residents will not be surprised.