Strengthening inversions, hazy conditions, and deteriorating air quality dominates the Christmas forecast for Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) — After an up and down week of unsettled weather mixed in with a very warm start to winter, Christmas arrives with a lump of coal in the stockings of many throughout Utah.

With a ridge of strong high pressure settling into the region for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many valley locations throughout the state will be dealing with inverted conditions. Temperatures will be warming in the mountains while our valleys will stay cold.

This will lead to a buildup of haze from pollutants which will begin to deteriorate our air quality.

The forecast from the Department of Environmental Quality and the Division of Air Quality shows moderate air for most of our Northern Valleys through Friday. However, hourly fluctuations are likely with unhealthy air possible at times heading into Christmas when a strong inversion has settled in for our valleys of Northern, Central, and Eastern Utah.

Outside of the areas expected to see inversion conditions, the rest of the region will remain quiet and dry with near-normal high temperatures. For Southern Idaho, Eastern Nevada, and SW Wyoming, you can expect temperatures in the 30s under partly cloudy skies.

For Northern Utah, the Wasatch Front and Wasatch Back, temperatures will be in the 30s and 40s with hazy conditions and partly cloudy skies. For Central, Eastern, and Southern Utah, temperatures will range from the 20s in the Uinta Basin to the 50s in SW Utah and along the Arizona Strip.

Current weather models are forecasting a weak cold front to slide through the region on Saturday as clouds increase ahead of it late Christmas night. Though weak, the front does look like it will provide some relief in inverted valleys due to breezy conditions and the chance of rain and snow showers while mountains receive new snow.

Unfortunately, Eastern Utah valleys are not expected to mix out and will remain inverted and cold until a larger storm arrives in the region.

Stay up to date with your latest pinpoint weather forecast both on-air and online at abc4.com/weather as the Pinpoint Weather Team wishes you Happy Holidays & Happy New Year

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