SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – Happy Wednesday, Utah! It’s been a cloudy and relatively calm start to the day for much of northern Utah with slightly warmer temperatures ahead of our cold front.

Snow showers have been fairly limited to the far Northern Mountains with only light snowfall elsewhere. The Northern Mountain areas will continue to see increasing snow showers ahead of the cold front, with accumulations stacking up through Thursday morning. Our warmer temperatures ahead of the front will also allow for some locations to see rain to start. Eventually, the cold front sweeps through this afternoon and brings widespread snow showers and impacts to our Wednesday evening commute. 

This storm is prompting several weather alerts. A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for the Wasatch and the Western Uintah Mountains starting midnight and lasting through 4 a.m. Thursday. Snowfall estimates of 6-12″ or more are expected with winds gusting as high as 60 mph. A Winter Weather Advisory has been posted for valleys along the Wasatch Front with moisture really targeting areas east of I-15 with the exception of Tooele County.  A breakdown of the snowfall forecast for northern Utah is calling for 1-3″ along the Wasatch Front, 3-6″ along the Benches,  4-8″ in our mountain valleys in northern Utah and 6-12″ for the Northern Mountains and 10-15″ for the Cottonwoods.  Light snowfall amounts are expected in the Central Mountains on Wednesday. Snow showers will linger in the mountains through early Thursday and very cold air will slide in once again from the north. 

Strong winds associated with the steep pressure gradient are prompting High Wind Warnings for the Castle Country of Utah. The wind warning will go into effect at 5 p.m. Wednesday and continue through 11 a.m. Thursday. Sustained winds of 40-50 mph are expected with wind gusts up to 80 mph. Residents in the region should prepare now for these damaging winds by securing loose property. Travel will be difficult, if not impossible, for high profile vehicles and power outages are possible as well. 

This cold front opens the door for a blast of arctic air, as this arctic front brings the coldest wind chill values many people living in the northern part of the United States will see. Temperatures will drop 15 degrees below average for Thursday, but with cold westerly winds, the wind chill values or real feel of the weather present dangerous conditions. A Wind Chill Warning has been issued for portions of Box Elder, Cache Valley, the Wasatch Back and the Uinta Basin. With winds up to 55 mph and frigid temperatures in place, wind chill values will fall between -10 and -20 degrees! Avoid time outdoors Wednesday night into Thursday morning as this type of cold can cause frostbite in under a half hour.   

We get a break for most of Thursday as snow tapers off in the early morning, but another weak storm will graze Northern Utah on Friday before high pressure builds in for Christmas weekend.

Bottom Line? Wicked winter weather settles in for Wednesday afternoon. 

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