SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Happy weekend, Utah! An autumn storm is approaching so the first part of our weekend is a big transition day filled with gusty winds, the warm before the storm and the chance for evening showers ahead of a potent cold front!
Southerly winds continue to increase for our Saturday, and this southerly flow is an indicator of the changes underway prompted by an approaching storm system. This system is dropping in from the Pacific Northwest and approaching Utah from the West, and ahead of this storm, we get an increase of southerly winds statewide. Gusty winds will be felt statewide by the afternoon, but the strongest winds will be along and west of I-15 where we already have a Wind Advisory in place from Tooele County down through Iron County. Winds tomorrow will be out of the south between 20-30 mph within the advisory with gusts that could exceed 50 mph. Dangerous crosswinds will exist on E/W routes, power outages will be possible, and we’ll likely see blowing dust.
The winds are the precursor to the passage of a strong cold front that will bring a change in temperatures and precipitation potential between Saturday and Sunday. The first half of Saturday looks dry and windy as moisture gradually begins to increase. By Saturday evening, moisture potential will increase with the chance of some prefrontal showers west of I-15 from Washington County north. By Sunday, there will be a good chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms statewide. Precipitation will be on and off on Sunday, and there will be a break in the action for a chunk of Sunday. We do stay unsettled into the work week with the chance of isolated showers.
Perhaps the biggest, noteworthy change from this storm will be the dip in temperatures. Daytime highs today can be classified as the warm before the storms with mid 70s to low 80s along the Wasatch Front, but by Sunday, daytime highs will drop roughly 15-20 degrees with most in Utah seeing 50s and 60s on Sunday with only a few spots like St. George getting into the low 70s. Moisture potential likely lingers into early next week as temperatures remain below seasonal norms.
With the cooler air and moisture potential we will likely see snow in the highest elevations of northern Utah, but just how much and how low the snow line will drop is still up in the air. At this point, above 8,500ft. looks likely, but we’ll continue to fine tune this forecast as we get closer. In the highest elevations, above 9,000ft., we could see accumulations over a few inches! The timing of the precipitation will play into this as well, because we could see a few flakes wanting to flirt with mountain valleys overnight. When it comes to rainfall totals, it looks like most spots in Utah could receive between 0.1″-0.25″ with some spots maybe seeing more than that, especially in the northern half of the state. We get a trailing disturbance Monday night into Tuesday, and that could bring snow levels down to 8,000ft., but stay tuned as we get this autumn storm together!
The bottom line? More cloud cover and gusty winds with the chance of rain for your Saturday, as a cold front sweeps through into Sunday.
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