SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — It is calm now, but our next storm arrives overnight with warmer temperatures. It will mainly be valley rain and mountain snow.

Happy Thursday or Happy Friday eve, Utah! After snow yesterday in northern Utah today will bring calmer skies as high pressure briefly settles in. The key word there is “briefly.” As for today, skies will be partly cloudy across the state with daytime highs running about 5-10 degrees below average in northern Utah while southern Utah will be fairly seasonal. By the second half of the day though, clouds will begin to increase across western Utah as our next storm gets set to move in.

By tonight, our next storm will move in, but instead of this storm mainly impacting northern Utah like recent storms, from tonight through tomorrow we’ll see widespread wet weather across the state. This storm will also bring in warmer temperatures so this will mainly be valley rain and mountain snow as the snow line will likely move a bit throughout Friday.

In the morning, the snow line will likely start on the benches, climbing to near or even above 7000 ft. in northern Utah by the afternoon, with it possibly getting higher than 8000 ft. in central Utah and above 9000ft. in southern Utah. This means in our mountain valleys including the Wasatch Back, a wintry mix to rain will be possible and if the rain is heavy enough, localized flooding can’t be ruled out given all the snow we have seen so far this winter. 

The unsettled weather will continue throughout the weekend with showers becoming more scattered in nature on both Saturday and Sunday compared to what we’ll see tomorrow. Also, with slightly cooler temperatures in northern Utah, the snow lines will come down a bit more, but we’re still mainly expecting rain down on our valley floors. 

Given the expected unsettled weather the National Weather Service has already issued alerts in the buildup to its arriving. Wind Advisories for the western portion of the state will go into effect late tonight and will continue through tomorrow night. Winds of 25-35 mph are expected with gusts reaching as high as 55mph. By tomorrow we’ll likely see strong winds statewide.

In the mountains, there is a Winter Storm Watch that will go into effect this evening and will continue through at least tomorrow from the north down to the central mountains. The Watch for the Wasatch Mountains north of I-80 will continue through tomorrow while the Watch for the Wasatch mountains south of I-80 and the western Uintas will continue through Saturday afternoon. The Watch for the central mountains will continue through Saturday evening.

During the duration of the Watch, 8-22″ is expected in the northern mountains with isolated higher amounts beginning possible, especially in the cottonwoods. In the central mountains, 5-15″ of snow will be possible. The highest accumulations will be above 8000 ft. in the northern mountains and above 8500 ft. in the central mountains. To go along with the snowfall, very strong winds are also expected as gusts could reach to or above 60-70mph. 

When it comes to snow totals it will be tricky given the nature of the snowline. Right now, through Saturday, we could see 8-16″ for most northern mountains with the healthiest totals being above 7000ft. In the Cottonwood canyons 12-24″ looks possible, central mountains could see 5-15″ and the southern mountains could see 6-12″. Mountain valleys could see anywhere from 2-8″, benches and Cache Valley could see anywhere from a trace-3″ with periods of rain, and northern valleys will see either all rain or possibly up to 2″ if we see a changeover. Central and southern valleys including Cedar City will mainly see rain through Saturday. 

From Sunday night into Monday, the weather likely calms a little bit with temperatures mainly in the 40s and 50s up north outside of the high country while southern Utah will get mainly 50s and 60s with a chance St. George hits 70. Any calm will quickly come to an end though as another strong storm system looks poised to move into Utah between Tuesday and Wednesday. Stay tuned! 

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