Potent, late season winter storm set to impact Utah

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march storm

An area of low pressure working its way through the Desert Southwest with ample moisture will track through the Four Corners and merge with a strong cold front swinging in from the Pacific Northwest Wednesday morning.

The aforementioned cold front contains Canadian arctic air that will usher in much colder, winter-like temperatures to the region to go along with gusty, shifting winds and its own moisture tap.

Precipitation will develop ahead of the front overnight Tuesday as clouds increase from the west Tuesday afternoon. Temperatures will initially be warm enough for valley rain but as the front passes during the early morning hours Wednesday, any rain will immediately change to snow and a period of moderate to heavy snow will fall.

Accumulating snow is expected for the Central Wasatch Front from Salt Lake County South through Central and parts of Southern Utah during the day.

Areas north of Salt Lake will see snow but minimal impacts are expected as light accumulations are forecasted. However, even light snow can lead to slippery travel on secondary roads throughout valley and bench locations. Those heading into the mountains or over mountain passes can expect winter driving conditions with reduced visibility and the possibility of blowing snow.

Main thoroughfares such as Interstate 15 should remain wet though bridges and overpasses could see road slush due to the colder temperatures. Travel along Interstate 80 west or eastbound will have wind impacts to Wendover with wind gusts up to or exceeding 50 mph with road snow impacts into SW Wyoming.

WHERE WILL THE STORM HIT?

The greatest areas of concerns from this storm will be the heavy snow expected from Santaquin to Cedar City along the I-15 Corridor where 5 to 10 inches of snow could fall. This will create treacherous travel conditions throughout this area of the state, so allow for plenty of extra time.

The other area of concern are the East Benches of the Salt Lake Valley and the Tooele Valley as the much colder air over the open warmer waters of the Great Salt Lake could produce lake enhanced snow showers leading to additional accumulations.

These areas could reach or exceed 8 inches of snow by the time the storm exits the region Thursday. This storm will favor NW facing slopes and locations allowing the Cottonwood Canyons to pick up another 1 to 2 feet of snow in a short period of time.

Most mountain locations South of Interstate 80 could receive 10 to 20 inches of snow so expect winter driving conditions throughout the state.

St. George will see rain move in overnight tonight with additional showers through the morning hours Wednesday, but much colder temperatures and wind gusts exceeding 50 mph at times. 

The Pinpoint Weather Team is tracking this latest winter storm so stay informed on-air and online at ABC4.com/weather.

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