SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4) – Happy Thursday or Happy Friday eve, Utah! It will be a windy day across the Beehive State as a potent storm system approaches from the west. A Wind Advisory is in effect for Southwest Utah, South Central Utah, southeastern San Juan County, and Tooele & Salt Lake Counties until 10 p.m. You can expect sustained winds in these areas between 20-35 mph as gusts get up to 55 miles per hour.
Blowing dust is expected, very similar to Tuesday, so reduced visibility is possible at times. Travel could be impacted in this portion of the state, especially for higher-profile vehicles. The wind advisory will hold until tonight. The winds also slightly elevate our fire risk in southern Utah.
Our southerly flow will result in daytime highs being about 10-15 degrees above average. We start sunny, but clouds will steadily increase across the state throughout the day. They will increase in northern Utah quicker. Daytime highs will make it into the 70s along the Wasatch Front, with a mix of upper 60s and 70s in Central Utah, while areas greatly impacted by the winds down south will see highs in the 80s.
The daytime hours look mostly dry across the state, however, by tonight the chance for wet weather will increase, especially in West and Northern Utah. By Friday afternoon we’ll be looking at widespread valley rain and mountain snow. Precipitation may be heavy at times and there will be potential for thunderstorms across the state. While snow in all our mountains is likely, our northern mountains will likely see the highest totals.
A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for our northern Utah mountains that will run from 6 a.m. Friday through noon on Saturday. Times of heavy snow will be possible within the advisory where 8-16″ of snow can be expected. Meanwhile, locally higher amounts will be possible, like in the Cottonwoods. Snow combined with gusty winds will make travel dangerous.
The arrival of this system will also result in much cooler temperatures moving in with daytime highs dropping about 20 degrees compared to Thursday. Below-average temperatures plan to linger for several days including through the weekend. Scattered showers remain likely on Saturday, but instead of being statewide like Friday, wet weather will favor the northern two-thirds of the state Saturday.
The bulk of this storm will be valley rain and mountain snow, but with cooler air, in place, early Saturday and late Saturday could see snow levels dropping to the benches along the Wasatch Front. Any accumulations of over a couple of inches will likely be limited to elevations at or above 6500ft.
By the end of the weekend, our weather will be calming as another pattern shift seems to be looming as a ridge of high pressure sets up shop resulting in dry conditions and warming temperatures early next week.
Bottom line? Today will be warm and windy with blowing dust potential before a storm brings wet weather Friday.
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