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`PINEAPPLE CONNECTION’ SOAKS UTAH

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"The Pineapple Connection" may sound like some hokey film from the Big Island, but it's actually a weather phenomenon that struck the Beehive State late Thursday and early Friday.

"It's what we refer to when we get a tremendous influx of tropical moisture from the West Coast," explained Bill Alder, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City."It hit Southern California and went eastward and started raining in southern Utah - the St. George and Santa Clara area - midafternoon Thursday.

"It spread north and east as night approached and left substantial amounts of precipitation this morning," Alder said Friday.

It also prompted weather officials to post a heavy snow warning above 8,000 feet for the southern mountains and above 7,000 feet up north, along the Wasatch Front through Friday night.

"The colder air behind this will continue over the state through the night bringing the snow level steadily down," Alder said. "But there won't be a lot of white for the (10:30 a.m. Utah-BYU) game Saturday. Just lots of red and blue. You may want to bring an umbrella, though, just in case, and temperatures will be in the 40s."

Ironically, the threat of snow comes on the heels of a record-breaking warm streak throughout the state. Thursday's 65 degrees in Salt Lake City was the warmest Nov. 21 on record. And on Tuesday, 12 high temperature records were smashed, as a balmy 73 degrees was registered in Tooele.

Some precipitation figures recorded in inches from the latest storm system include: Duck Creek Village east of Cedar City, 2.53; Midway Valley near Navajo Lake, 2; Hurricane, 1.01; St. George, 0.96; Delta, 1.04; Zion National Park, 1.18; Sundance, 1.57; Manti, 0.96; Pleasant Grove, 0.67; Bountiful, 0.38; and Brigham City, 0.05.

Alder said some minor flooding in the low-lying areas of Santa Clara occurred with the rain storms and a few ski resorts reported new snow, as the powder hit Snowbird near 9,500 feet and Brighton came in with 7 new inches.

Another system is expected to come through Monday, and long-range forecasts indicate Thanksgiving Day may be wet this year, Alder said.