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Western Utah Climatography
Western Utah’s weather and climate is much more than what most people perceive it to be. Although the data base is relatively low, a sufficient record exists to make some definite conclusions about the atmospheric conditions here. Weather summaries that have not been previously published were used in compiling some of the important statistics. These summaries were derived from daily weather data that includes all years available on magnetic tape through 1986. The climatic variability found here is the result of several controlling factors such as the dominant westerly air movement, the inland position which results in high ranges of both temperature and precipitation, and the orographic effects of numerous mountain ranges that complicate the meteorological processes. Although the region is often perceived to be a barren desert, only about one-third of the total area is technically a true desert. The high altitudinal range and the latitudinal limits account for at least four distinct climatic divisions. Within each of the climatic regions, weather phenomena occur that are typical in counterpart areas of the earth. They include thunderstorms, blizzards, snowstorms, whirlwinds, tornadoes, water spouts and gusty winds. The fact that a sparse population resides in the area helps to account for public apathy regarding weather and climate here.
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