Dangerous cold targets Utah with weekend storm

Weather

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah- (ABC 4 News) – Another shot of cold air is taking aim at Utah, as a strong cold front will sweep through the state. Cold air is already in place after a cold front knocked down high temperatures by about 20 degrees Thursday. This next storm will deliver arctic air, and that means the potential for record challenging temps and frigid overnight lows.

The cold front will move through Northern Utah later on Saturday through Sunday morning. There’s not a tremendous amount of precipitation expected with this storm, but our mountains and mountain valleys will receive some light accumulating snow. The storm will impact Utahns during two different time frames. Ahead of the cold front, we will see a warming trend for Saturday afternoon with temperatures close to average this time of year and gusty winds at times. The westerly winds will continue to increase fire danger with a “Red Flag Warning” going into effect at noon through 9 p.m. The warning is for a portion of the Uinta Basin, the San Rafael Swell, the Grand Staircase area, and portions of West Central Desert.

The initial push of the cold front will target Northern Utah Saturday night into Sunday morning. Once the front passes, wind direction will shift and unseasonably cold air will settle into our Northern Utah valleys and mountains. Expect cloud cover to increase as the front nears Utah. We will see showery precipitation associated with the front that will deliver a wintry mix to valleys with no accumulation expected, and light snow to our Wasatch and Uinta Mountains. Snow will fall through Sunday morning and totals are expected between 2-4″. Precipitation potential will dwindle as the day goes on.

The cold air will surge further south and likely bring a hard freeze to most Utah cities Sunday into Monday night. St. George is expected to fall into the 30s for overnight lows as well. The remaining precipitation will likely impact Central, Eastern, and Southern mountains Sunday afternoon through Monday afternoon. With the coldest air in place, Central and Southern Utah mountain locations like Brianhead, the Tushars, and the Henry Mountains could see 3-6″ of snow. The snow level will drop to 6,000 feet.

The biggest impact from this storm system will be a reinforcing shot of arctic air. Heading into our next work week, all of Utah will see below-average highs for this time of year with Salt Lake City topping out in the 40s for several days. Overnight lows will fall into the 20s even for valley locations, so dangerous cold on deck that will possibly challenge records throughout the state.

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