The climate of Utah
has a mainly dry, semi-arid (BSh, BSk) and desert climate (BWh, BWk). Summers are long and extremely hot, while winters are short and cold. Utah lies in the western part of the United States and is one of the Four Corners States as well as the Mountain States. Arizona in the south, Nevada in the west, Idaho in the north, Wyoming in the northeast, and Colorado in the east share borders with the state, which also touches New Mexico in the southeast. The Gulf of California is an important factor that influences the climate.
Utah, the Beehive State, has an average elevation of 1860 meters with the highest point on Kings Peak at 4,120.3 meters and the lowest at 664.4 meters at Beaver Dam Wash. The diverse topography ranges from deserts to flourishing pine forests in the mountains. The Colorado Plateau, the Rocky Mountains, and the Great Basin regions join in Utah. Western Utah is an arid desert with small mountain ranges and rugged terrain as an anomaly in the landscape. The southern landscape is scenic with the Colorado River, and its tributaries wind through the sandstone to create mesmerizing canyons, arches, mesas, buttes, and gullies. Eastern Utah has high elevation basins and plateaus.
Summers in Utah are scorching, with the average high temperatures in the range of 85°F (29.4°C) to 100°F (37.8°C) at the peak of July
. The dryness results in low humidity and significant temperature variations keep the nights cool in the summer, especially in the high mountains. January
high temperatures are between 30°F (-1.1°C) to 55°F (12.8°C) at the peak of the winter season. However, temperatures drop below 0°F (-17.8°C) in the majority of the state during the cold season. The northern and eastern mountain ranges protect Utah from major Arctic blasts even though some manage to spill over. Temperature inversions last for extended periods during the winters in the lowlands and lead to thick haze and fog. Spring and autumn have the most comfortable conditions in the year.
The average annual precipitation in Utah ranges from 5" (127mm) in the Great Salt Lake Desert to 12" (305mm) in the lowlands and 15" (381mm) in the Wasatch Front. Snowfall is an ample 60" (1524mm) in Salt Lake City and substantial in much of the state except the far southern valleys. Lake-effect snow increases snowfall in the south and east parts of the Great Salt Lake. The Wasatch Range receives up to 500" (12700mm) in some of its portions due to lake-effect snow. The average annual sunshine in Utah is an abundant 3029 hours. Although the freeze-free window is large, the desert lands are mostly unsuitable for agriculture.
Saint George recorded the highest ever temperature of 118°F (47.8°C) on July 4, 2007, in Utah, while Peter Sinks recorded the coldest temperature of -69°F (-56.1°C) on February
The best time to visit Utah
The best time to visit Utah
is during the spring from March
and autumn from September
. The shoulder seasons are colder than the severely hot weather of summer but warmer than the cold winter. Spring brings unexpected precipitation in some parts of the state. The fall is a colorful period in the high mountains of Utah when the landscape attains scenic beauty. The summer heat is oppressive, and the season is prone to thunderstorms. October
has pleasant weather with comfortable days and nights, but diurnal temperature variations exist throughout the year.
The worst time to visit Utah
The worst time to visit Utah
is in the winter from December
, with severely cold nights and extreme temperature variations. Frequent snowfall leads to substantial accumulation in the highlands, with 1 to 3 feet of snow depth being standard. Arctic air escapes through the mountain passes to bring sub-zero temperatures in the state. High-speed winds often exacerbate the effect of the cold. The light, fluffy, and deep powdery snow makes skiing popular in Utah in the winter season. Many visitors vie for experiencing 'The Greatest Snow on Earth' on the mountain slopes of Utah.
is vulnerable to wildfires, thunderstorms, and tornadoes in late spring and summer.
Pacific storms make their way into Utah between October
. Thunderstorms occur for an average of 40 days in the year. Severe wildfires occur in the summer due to the dry and hot weather. Lightning strikes spark summer wildfires, while thunderstorms cause flash floods due to the inability of vegetation to hold even a moderate amount of water. An average of two tornadoes strike Utah over the year but rarely cause fatalities to human life. Utah is prone to low-intensity earthquakes below 3.5 on the Richter scale.
Weather in January
is usually the coldest month of the year in Utah
, with the temperatures falling below 0°F (-17.8°C) in the north and eastern parts. The average low temperatures are in the frigid 3°F (-16.1°C) to 31°F (-0.6°C) zone, while the average high temperatures are in the cold 27°F (-2.8°C) to 54°F (12.2°C) range. Weather in January »
Weather in February
is chilly in the winter of Utah
as the state remains in the grip of the cold weather. Day temperatures are in the cold range of 32°F (0°C) to 59°F (15°C) and rarely go past 65°F (18.3°C). Nights are bitter in the zone of 10°F (-12.2°C) to 28°F (-2.2°C), with occasional dips below 0°F (-17.8°C) in many areas. The mountains have alpine conditions and gather loads of fluffy snow. Weather in February »
Weather in March
begins with cold weather at the start of the spring season in Utah
. Day high temperatures average in the warm 37°F (2.8°C) to 62°F (16.7°C) range, while the nights are cold with average low temperatures in the 16°F (-8.9°C) to 36°F (2.2°C). Weather in March »
Weather in April
sees a rise in temperatures with the advance of the spring season in Utah
. The average high temperatures are in the warm 43°F (6.1°C) to 75°F (23.9°C) range, while nights tend to be cold between 22°F (-5.6°C) to 49°F (9.4°C) statewide. April sees measurable snow in the range of 1" (25mm) to 2" (51mm) in the state and is most likely the last month of significant snowfall. Weather in April »
Weather in May
has long and sunny days amid clear skies in the spring season of Utah
. The average high temperatures are in the warm 52°F (11.1°C) to 86°F (30°C) range, while the average low temperatures are in the mild zone of 30°F (-1.1°C) to 59°F (15°C). Weather in May »
Weather in June
begins the hot summer season in Utah
, with the sun rays gradually rising in intensity. The wilderness and natural beauty of the state draw tourists from distant lands. The average high temperatures are between 63°F (17.2°C) to 96°F (35.6°C), while the average low temperatures are in the 38°F (3.3°C) to 67°F (19.4°C) zone. Weather in June »
Weather in July
is usually the hottest month of the year in Utah
, with blistering sunshine that scorches the land. The average high temperatures are in the hot 72°F (22.2°C) to 101°F (38.3°C) range, and many places remain over 100°F (37.8°C) for extended periods. Weather in July »
Weather in August
is a hot summer month in Utah
, with the sun working overtime over the land. The average high temperatures are in the hot 70°F (21.1°C) to 99°F (37.2°C) range, while nights register between a moderate 45°F (7.2°C) to 73°F (22.8°C). Rain is negligible as the summer retains a dry atmosphere with clear skies. Weather in August »
Weather in September
sees a drop in the heat index in Utah
, with the passage of the long summer by the middle of the month. The scorching sun, and usually brown landscape give way to moderate sunshine and colorful scenery. Snow-capped peaks in the background add to the natural beauty. The average high temperatures in early fall are in the warm 61°F (16.1°C) to hot 92°F (33.3°C) range, while the average low temperatures are in the cold 37°F (2.8°C) to mild 63°F (17.2°C) range. Weather in September »
Weather in October
lies in the middle of the fall season in Utah
, with strikingly variable temperatures between day and night at various elevations. The average high temperatures tend to be comfortable in the 49°F (9.4°C) to 78°F (25.6°C) range, but the nights are cold in the 27°F (-2.8°C) to 50°F (10°C) range. Weather in October »
Weather in November
brings cold weather to Utah
as the autumn season begins to wind up. The average high temperatures are in the range of 36°F (2.2°C) to 64°F (17.8°C), while the average low temperatures drop well below freezing in the 16°F (-8.9°C) to 37°F (2.8°C) range. The mountain ranges gather substantial snow above 20" (508mm), while the rest of the state records healthy numbers between 3" (76mm) to 8" (203mm). Weather in November »
Weather in December
brings the cold winter season to Utah
, with a significant amount of snowfall. The average high temperatures are in the mild 30°F (-1.1°C) to 53°F (11.7°C) zone, and the average low temperatures are in the frigid 10°F (-12.2°C) to 30°F (-1.1°C) range. Weather in December »