SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Happy Thursday, Utah! After some healthy precipitation totals that went over an inch in most spots across the state, we’ll see drier conditions today thanks to high-pressure settling. Before getting into the forecast though it’s important to note that our recent string of storms continues to help us chip away at the drought situation!
There is no longer any part of Utah in “exceptional drought,” which is the most severe category. Roughly 26% is still in “extreme drought,” but that’s down from 28% last week. Also, this data doesn’t include what we saw Tuesday to Wednesday, and we’ve got more moisture on the way, so we’ll likely see more improvement in next week’s update.
As for today, daytime highs in northern Utah are hitting the 30s and 40s while southern Utah will mainly see highs in the 40s with a chance of St. George hitting the 50s. Most skies will be partly cloudy to partly sunny. Haze won’t be too much of an issue for most northern Utah valleys, but it will be pronounced in the Uinta Basin where air quality is expected to be moderate.
Meanwhile, today will be a bluebird day up in the mountains. Just continue to be aware that the avalanche warning in backcountry areas remains considerable. Continue to stick the groomers and in bounds areas.
Our Friday won’t bring too many changes compared to today. We’ll see partly cloudy to partly sunny skies once again, but with the calm weather, it’s likely we will see a bit more haze along the Wasatch Front. At this point, Salt Lake, Davis, and Tooele Counties are projected to fall into the moderate air quality as the haze remains in eastern Utah as well.
The haze isn’t destined to stay long though as forecast models are optimistic about us moving back into an active pattern beginning by Saturday. On Saturday, our next storm system will start to approach, so the first half of the day will see increasing clouds before the chance for wet weather begins to increase across the board by the second half of the day. A strong southerly flow will keep temperatures above average and by Saturday night into early Sunday, we’ll likely see widespread wet weather across the Beehive State!
This storm is likely to begin as valley rain and mountain snow, but with colder air expected to arrive by the second half of Sunday, we could see a changeover to valley snow. The active weather won’t be done on Sunday though. It looks like we’ll see more rounds of wet weather on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday through the first half of next week and with colder temperatures in place, more valleys will have a chance of seeing snow. Being more than a few days away the finer details are still a little bit fuzzy so be sure to stay tuned as we fine-tune the forecast!
Bottom line? High pressure provides a brief break from wet weather, but changes arrive again by Sunday.