by: Thomas Geboy
Posted: / Updated:
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4) – Happy Friday eve, Utah!
We are rapidly approaching the Christmas holiday weekend. Today will bring a lot of changes to our weather.
The first is a good chance as a strong southerly wind has broken the inversion allowing the haze to go away. That southerly wind has also seen us warm up quickly so far and we’ll see highs along the Wasatch Front in the mid to upper 40s which is well above our average for this time of year.
Down south, it will be 40s and 50s. The strong wind is being caused by a potent winter storm that will be moving through today and tonight. There has already been spotty wet weather across the state with valley rain and snow in the mountains. Through the afternoon wet weather will increase in both coverage and intensity. There will also be snow in the central and southern mountains while St. George and Cedar City get rain. As we move through tonight and cool things down the snow level will begin to drop, likely to the benches in northern Utah, however, if we find times of heavy rain which is possible, snow levels could drop to some valley floors. This would most likely happen in Cache Valley but will also be possible along the Wasatch Front.
We have a Winter Storm Warning in effect for our northern mountains from around the Bear River Valley southward to the Wasatch Plateau/Book Cliffs. This warning also includes our northern Utah mountains valleys like the Heber Valley & Ogden Valley along with southwestern Wyoming. In the mountain valleys & SW Wyoming snow totals through Christmas Eve night could reach 5-15″ which the mountains could pick up 1-2 feet! In isolated areas, some mountains could get closer to 3 feet while in the mountain valleys 18″ will be possible, especially between Park City & Kamas. For our Central and Southern Mountains 5-15″ is most likely and they are included in Winter Weather Advisories with this storm. With this amount of snow in higher elevations this could make travel extremely difficult to impossible.
Wet weather will continue into Christmas Eve and the snow level will increase again as we warm back up to the upper 30s and low 40s along the Wasatch Front. As a whole, wet weather looks to taper a bit from Christmas Eve into Christmas morning, especially in the valleys. High elevation will remain possible and, in some instances, likely.
Temperatures don’t look to be too different between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, however, another system will bring even colder air with a better chance for snow for central and northern Utah Christmas night into Sunday. We will continue with the chance for snow into early next week while rain will remain possible for St. George.