Lake effect snow possible into Wednesday for parts of Northern Utah


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4) – An exiting low-pressure system ushered in the coldest air of the season thus far, and the chance for some lake effect snow exists for parts of Northern and Central Utah.

There’s a moderate chance we will see lake effect rain and snow off of the Great Salt Lake and off Utah Lake. The band of precipitation that forms due to the lake effect could impact Davis County, the western side of the Salt Lake Valley, Tooele County, and areas on the eastern edge of Utah Lake.

The morning commute could be soggy as a result of this precipitation. 

Lake effect snow occurs when cold air moves across open waters of large lakes. We see it happen often over the Great Lakes, but here in Utah, lake effect snow is a micro-scale event that happens when colder air from the North moves over the Great Salt Lake. The cold air moves over the warmer water at the lake surface, and as the prolonged fetch of colder air passes over the lake, it transfers moisture and warmth into the lowest levels of the atmosphere. The area of condensation then passes over the opposing shore of the lake, resulting in a persistent band of snow that can last up to several hours.

In this case, the winds are cold and blowing from a WNW direction, so we would see the western edge of the Salt Lake Valley, parts of Davis County, and the eastern edge of Utah Lake facing rain and/or snow showers. With places like Tooele County and Utah County under a Hard Freeze Warning tonight, any of these showers could lead to hazardous travel.

Icy conditions, snow showers, and slick roads are to be expected for the Wednesday morning commute. Be sure to stay on top of any weather changes statewide, and stick with Utah’s Most Accurate Forecast! We are There4You!

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