SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — It’s going to be a gorgeous day across the Beehive State with mild temperatures and sunny skies. Daytime highs will top out just above seasonal norms in both Northern & Southern Utah. Along the Wasatch Front, highs will range in the upper 70s and low 80s while some in Utah County will hit 80s while down in St. George, we’ll come in right around 90. Here’s some advice for your Friday: enjoy it! Also, if you were planning on going up into the mountains to check out the fall colors, do it today or tomorrow because we’ll see some drastic changes in our weather through the weekend as our next storm approaches.

While today will be fairly quiet, we’ll see some breezy conditions in eastern Utah. Southerly winds will blow some dust and the gusty conditions, combined with dry fire fuels and low-relative humidity values create a critical fire risk in southern Uintah County and most of Grand County where a Red Flag Warning is in effect through this evening. By tomorrow San Juan County will be included in a critical fire risk. Avoid burning, secure chains, and follow any local fire restrictions! We also have a Fire Weather Watch for San Juan County for the same reasons, which will hold until 8 p.m. 

Our southerly flow is an indicator of the aforementioned weekend changes ahead. By Saturday a system dropping in from the Pacific Northwest will begin to move in our direction, and ahead of this system, 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.

This potent cold front 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 and by Sunday, there will be a good chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms statewide. Daytime highs tomorrow will be similar to what we get today, 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 seeeing more than that, especially in the northern half of the state.