In the valleys and plateaus of Utah the summers are hot and dry and the winters, also dry, range from mild in the south to cold in the north. In the mountains of northeastern Utah the temperatures throughout the year are lower than elsewhere in the state and precipitation is more abundant.
Temperatures decrease from the south to the north in the state. In the mountains the average temperature drops about 0.5°C (about 1°F) for every about 300 m (about 1,000 ft) rise in elevation. Average July temperatures range from less than 16°C (60°F) in the mountains to more than 27°C (80°F) in a few locations in southern Utah.
At Salt Lake City average July temperatures range from a low of 18°C (64°F) to a high of 33°C (92°F). There is a great variation between daytime and nighttime temperatures, and although daytime highs are often in the lower 30°s C (lower 90°s F), summer nights are usually quite cool. Average January temperatures range from more than 2°C (35°F) in southwestern Utah to less than -7°C (20°F) in mountainous northeastern Utah. The average January temperature range at Salt Lake City is from a low of -7°C (19°F) to a high of 2°C (36°F).
In most of Utah the annual precipitation is between about 200 and 400 mm (about 8 and 16 in), but in the Great Salt Lake Desert it is less than 130 mm (5 in) annually. In the highest parts of the mountains the precipitation averages more than 1,000 mm (40 in) per year, mostly in the form of heavy winter snow. Winter precipitation is mostly in the form of storms that originate over the Pacific Ocean. They bring large amounts of rain and snow to the southern and western slopes of the mountains but leave the leeward slopes and valleys relatively dry. Winter snows are particularly heavy in the Wasatch Mountains where single storms can bring several feet of snow and annual snowfall can reach 9 m (30 ft). Most rain in summer occurs as local thunderstorms, which drop large quantities of rain on small areas, often creating flash floods. "Utah" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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