From 100-degree heat to record cold: Howling winds bring sudden seasonal reversal in West, High Plains ~ The Washington Post

Salt Lake City went from record heat to record cold in three days.


A visualization of surface winds as a marked dip in the jet stream and associated storm system shift east over the Plains on Tuesday. (MajicWeather)

June 9 at 4:05 PM

Summer, fall, winter and spring, or — if you were in Salt Lake City the past few days — Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

On Friday, temperatures in Utah’s capital city hit the century mark, with the earliest triple-digit reading ever recorded in that location. Saturday featured a vicious derecho — or straight-line windstorm — that brought 75 mph winds to much of the state. By Sunday, temperatures in Salt Lake City had fallen into the 40s by lunchtime after a morning high of 60. And Monday was downright cold, with snow falling in mountains nearby.

The wild temperature swings are courtesy of a potent dip in the jet stream that’s allowed anomalously chilly air to spill south from Canada, overspreading much of the Intermountain West. That same influx of cold air is wrapped up in a powerful storm system that’s unleashing strong winds across parts of the central United States, too.

Where the wind and cold have overlapped, a full-fledged winter storm has been the result for some.

Cold arriving with howling winds

Temperature anomalies simulated from by the European model for Tuesday afternoon, June 9. Notice the intense contrast on the Plains. (WeatherBell)

High-wind warnings blanket an enormous corridor of the central Plains, where winds in the wake of a sweeping cold front could gust up to 60 mph at times through Tuesday evening. Some places in the High Plains from west Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle up through western Kansas and eastern Colorado could see isolated 80 mph gusts, according to the National Weather Service.

North Platte, Neb., saw winds gusting over 60 mph for four consecutive hours Tuesday morning, with a gust to 70 mph around 11 a.m. Burlington, Colo., had gusts to 74 mph, while Springfield, about 150 miles south, had gusts to 71 mph.

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